For patients, families and carers

We provide a wide range of services for patients facing a life limiting illness, their families and carers. Our patients may have been diagnosed with a wide variety of conditions such as cancer, neurological conditions, heart failure and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

We offer a Day Service, Inpatient Care, Hospice at Home service and our Family Support Service can help with emotional/psychological and bereavement support.

For support regarding any of our services, please call 01462 679540

The Hospice Patient Service Team

The Hospice Patient Service Team is led by the Director of Patient Services and the Support Services Manager.

The team includes nurses, a physiotherapist, a pharmacist, complementary therapists, the Family Support Service, the catering team and housekeeping team. Trained volunteers work alongside the team.

The medical team is led by the Medical Director. There is a doctor at the Hospice seven days a week and on call at night.


The Hospice keeps written and computerised records about the care and treatment you receive. Hospice team members need this information to assess your condition and to provide you with the best possible care and treatment.

Information about you is shared between Hospice team members on a ‘need to know’ basis. All who work at the Hospice, including volunteers, must follow a strict code of conduct regarding confidentiality.

We only share information about you with your family or friends with your consent.

Often it is necessary to share your information with professionals in other services who may be directly involved with your care or if you need treatment elsewhere. Your information will only be made available if there is a genuine need to do so. Such professionals might, for example, include GPs, ambulance services or social care services.

Should you have any concerns regarding how information about you is shared, please talk to one of the Hospice team.

More information about your information: how we use and keep it (link to leaflet same title)

We have an advice line 01462 416794 for urgent symptom advice where a nurse will answer your call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. For non-urgent matters please call between Monday and Friday 9.00-17.00, which are our normal working hours.

We advise that you discuss your needs with your GP or Consultant, who can provide us with your medical information.

If you feel your carer would benefit from a short break please talk to us and we will discuss the respite with you and your carer. We offer a short admission of 3 nights to our Inpatient Unit to Hospice patients who are cared for at home but who have a family carer who needs a break.

We would encourage you to liaise with the Hospital Palliative Care Team and your ward who can guide you further. However, please feel free to call us and we will endeavour to assist you.

We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and carry out regular audits of our care and services to ensure we are following best practice. Every year we produce a Quality Account that highlights our priorities for quality improvement over the year.

Information about our most recent inspection by the CQC can be found at

Feedback from our patients and their families is very important to us as it helps us to identify how we are doing and if we can improve our service. We issue patient feedback surveys on a regular basis. However, if you would like to make a comment please write to the Director of Patient services or email:

Please write to the Chief Executive, Sue Plummer or e-mail

Useful Links

Where to go for support and information when facing a life limiting illness can sometimes be overwhelming.

Whilst there are many conditions which can be considered life-limiting, having the opportunity to seek out the right information is important. We would be happy to speak to you about any concerns you might have, but we also recognise that you may need specialist information that other organisations may be able to provide.

You may find the websites below useful:

NHS Website                            

MacMillan Cancer Support               

Breast Cancer Support          

Roy Castle Lung Castle Foundation - Information and support to lung cancer patients

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association -For practical and emotional support for those living with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)            

The Motor Neurone Disease Association funds and promotes global research into MND and provides support to people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.        

Multiple Sclerosis Trust                      

British Heart Foundation-The nation's heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research.    

Willow Foundation - Dedicated to bringing special days to the seriously ill who are between the ages 16 and 40 years of age and live in the United Kingdom.

Useful contacts in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

Carers in Hertfordshire-  Support and information to unpaid family and friends who look after someone.

Hertfordshire Action on Disability -  A Charity helping older and disabled people to lead an independent life

HertsHelp – A network of community organisations in Hertfordshire working together to support you.


Planning ahead

You may already have made arrangements to secure the future for you and the significant people in your life, but for many people making practical arrangements, Wills, financial planning and planning your future care are things that you may not have thought of before and you may need help and support.

Changes of circumstance can make matters more complicated as issues around next of kin and responsibility for children can be complex. It may be helpful to think again and take advice if you have any anxieties.

Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a process of discussion between you and those who provide care for you, for example your nurses, doctors, care home manager, social worker, family or friends.

During this discussion you may choose to express some views, preferences and wishes about your future care so that these can be taken into account if you were unable to make your own decisions at some point in the future. This process will enable you to communicate your wishes to all involved in your care.

Next of Kin

Before a death it is possible for a patient to appoint any person of their choice to be recognised as their next of kin, whether or not they are related. However, after a death this person will not be legally recognised if there is a direct living relative or spouse. We would advise patients to consult a solicitor for guidance.

Further information is available on:

Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA)

This Act came into force in 2007 and creates important new safeguards for anyone who, through illness, injury or disability, has difficulty making decisions. If this is applicable now or you would like to plan ahead in case it happens in the future, then this Act will be of interest to you. Please ask a member of the Hospice staff if you would like more information.

Further information is available at

Your Community Clinical Nurse Specialist, the Family Support Service, Day Services Nurse, Community Nurse or GP will also be able to advise you further regarding planning ahead.