Hospice Community service
Around 70% of the care we give to our patients is in the community where they live, whether that be at home, in a care home or nursing home.
Our team of clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and community healthcare assistants (CHCA) provide support to you and your family at home with specialist care including symptom control, and personal care in the latter stages of illness.
They are our own hospice staff, employed by St Elizabeth Hospice, and are not Macmillan nurses, as some people may think. Macmillan do not provide a community nursing service in our area as the hospice were asked to take over that responsibility from them some years ago.
Community health care assistants
Our CHCA's give personal care to patients who have a sudden increase in care needs, providing short term support, normally until statutory services can arrange carers for the longer term.
Personal care includes things such as:
- washing and bathing
- using the toilet
- changing position
CHCA's are not registered nurses however, so cannot be responsible for giving you medication, but they may assist you to take your medicine.
To contact the CHCA team during the day call 01473 707046 (answerphone is available).
Community Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
Our community clinical nurse specialists have advanced knowledge and experience of palliative and end of life care. CNS work alongside your usual care providers, such as your GP or district nurse to help manage your symptoms.
They support patients and families at home with symptom control, pain management, advice on difficult emotional and spiritual issues and understanding what is happening.
Once the CNS has supported you with advice or treatment, and they have monitored your needs, your usual care routine will resume. This may include support from one of our healthcare professionals, your GP or district nurse or another health professional.
If your needs change and you need the support of a CNS again, they will arrange to reassess your situation and work with you again to provide the support that best suits you.
Contact the CNS team seven days a week on 01473 707044 (answerphone available).
OneCall clinical and medical advice line
Our advice line is for clinical and medical advice about your illness. It is available seven days a week.
Call OneCall if you have a sudden and unexpected onset of symptoms or difficulties relating to your illness.
We can give advice over the phone or liaise with other health professionals such as your GP or district nurse, or out of hours service.
OneCall - 0800 56 70 111
(Please always leave a message if you can't get through, someone will call you back as soon as possible).
OneCall is for enquiries relating to your illness only, it is not a general information line.
For general hospice enquiries, please call reception on 01473 727776.
Support to get home from hospital at the end of life
Only 1% of people say that they want to die in hospital, but sadly around 40% of people will.
We work closely Ipswich Hospital and other organisations to help patients known to be nearing the end of life, to leave hospital to go home to die, if that is their wish.
We can react quickly to make sure you have the quickest possible discharge home and ensure that good quality care is in place for you. Our CHCAs can provide personal care for you, and specialist nursing support is available to manage pain and other difficult symptoms. We may also work with other organisations such as Marie Curie to support you at this time.
To help deliver this vital service we have launched a public appeal called No Place Like Home, to raise funds so we can continue support patients get home from hospital at the end of their lives.
You may be referred to the hospice community team if you have a progressive or terminal illness and need help managing pain or other symptoms.
You may also be referred if you are being discharged from hospital or the hospice inpatient unit, or if you are nearing the end of your life and your wish is to die at home.
You may be referred by your GP, district nurse, Ipswich Hospital discharge team or another hospice team.
In addition to our CNS and CHCA service, we offer a home-sitting, companionship service, to give you and your family a break from routine. Our volunteer sitters can come and spend time with you while your normal carers take a break. They can help with practical tasks like making drinks and snacks, or simply stay and chat, take a walk or read to you.
They are not allowed to provide nursing or personal care however.