A community team comprising seven Specialist Palliative Care Community Nurses (CNSs) provide expert support seven days a week through a face to face visiting and advisory service. Each CNS works with patients from a geographical area of referring surgeries. The CNSs attend practice GSF meetings and communicate closely with all other healthcare professionals.
The CNSs are fully funded by the Hospice and so are not Macmillan nurses, although they perform a similar function. The CNSs are supported and advised by a Consultant in Palliative Medicine who is available for consultations on weekdays.
There are eight specialist palliative care beds which are intensively managed under consultant supervision. Admissions can be arranged for complex symptom control where this cannot be managed at home, or for terminal care.
The average length of stay is approximately nine days. Day or overnight admissions can be arranged for blood transfusion, abdominal paracentesis and pleural aspiration.
There is a full day care facility. Transport can be arranged for those patients who are unable to manage this themselves.
Normally, patients attend for one day a week or exceptionally for two days a week. Day care offers varied activities including art, relaxation, crafts and a group physiotherapy session. Bisphosphonate infusions to selected patients are administered in the day care facility (Beacon View Wellbeing Centre).
Out of hours cover
24-hour advice is available to all our patients and healthcare professionals via the Hospice switchboard. There is a Specialty Doctor on-call as well as Consultant cover. Emergency admissions of patients already known to the Hospice may be made following discussion with the on-call doctor.