Referral criteria
and procedure​

Referral criteria

Our referral criteria recognises that a patient's needs may be greater at certain times of their illness and referrals can be made at anytime including at diagnosis, or through a relapse or recurrence of disease as well as in the terminal phase. People can be discharged from our services and be re-referred at a later stage.

  1. The patient will have a progressive illness, with supportive and palliative care needs
  2. The patient will be 14 years or older
  3. Referrals will be based on the needs of the patient and his or her family rather than the diagnosis
  4. The patient has consented to the referral
Examples of reasons for referral are:
  • difficult pain and symptom control
  • patients and family having difficulty in coping with the progressive illness and its consequences
  • need for palliative rehabilitation
  • complex spiritual issues due to the impact of the illness on spirituality

All patients referred will have an initial holistic needs assessment except where the referrals are for admission to the Inpatient Unit. In this instance a decision will be made on the basis of verbal and written information supplied by the referring and other health and social care professionals.

The hospice does not have any designated long term care beds.

Relatives or carers of patients with palliative care needs who are having psychosocial difficulties can be referred for family support or complementary therapy.

Zest - young adult referrals

We accept referrals for young adults aged between 14-40 year olds who are living with a life-limiting or life threatening conditions.

Reasons for referrals

To improve and support quality of life whilst living with an incurable and/or progressive condition, including:

  • Support with transition from children’s care and children's hospice care
  • Help with managing symptoms, changing needs of the patient and their family, or deterioration in patient's condition
  • Support planning for the future
  • To reduce social isolation and provide opportunities for peer support
  • Supportive care for the whole family
  • Access to specialist Zest day service and short breaks for young adults with complex care needs

Referral procedure


Changes to the referral process

From the 1st March, the way referrals are managed by the hospice has changed. All referrals for inpatient care will continue to be discussed at a daily referrals meeting or by the senior clinician if an urgent referral falls outside of these times. Referrals for Community, Day Care and Outpatients will be triaged by a CNS within 48 hours and assigned to the most appropriate service. For example a patient with Cancer of the lung and troubled by breathlessness, may after a triage assessment attend the Easy Breathing course before being introduced to the community CNS team. Previously, patients may already have been too ill to complete this course as the process of activating the referral and identifying the most appropriate referrals was too lengthy.

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