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Guide to seeking clinical help or advice

We have written this guide because we know that deciding who to contact for help and advice can be confusing, with lots of different possible teams to choose from.

If you are still unsure after reading this guide, call the Palliative Care Advice Line and the Hospice can help you, your family or carers decide who is best placed to give the care or advice you need.

Anyone can ring the Palliative Care Advice Line, which is staffed by members of the Hospice nursing team 24/7.


Palliative Care Advice Line: 01462 416 794


Your GP

Your GP will normally be your primary source of medical support and is the overall coordinator of you care when you are at home.

Examples of the circumstances when you should ring your GP surgery include:

  • Issues relating to your regular prescriptions
  • New medical problems that aren’t related to the problem we are supporting you with
  • Situations when you need an urgent review in your own home.


NHS 111

  • If you develop an urgent medical problem when your GP surgery is shut, you can phone NHS 111 for help and advice.


The Hospice

Anyone can ring the Palliative Care Advice Line at the Hospice but this may be particularly helpful if you are:

  • Currently being cared for by our Hospice at Home or Continuing Health Care (CHC) Teams
  • Currently being seen in either our Day Services or Medical Outpatients, when the problem or question relates to the health issue that we are supporting with
  • Recently discharged from the Inpatient Unit at the Hospice and have questions relating to the discharge medications or to the care given at the Hospice.

Community Palliative Care Nurses

If you are under the Community Palliative Care Nurses and have seen them in clinic or they have visited you in your home, you can call them for advice relating to your condition. To do this you can call 0300 123 7571 any day of the week, between 9am and 5pm. Outside that time, please ring the Palliative Care Advice Line number above.


Hospital Specialists or Hospital Clinical Nurse Specialists

If you are still receiving care under a hospital Consultant or hospital team, including from a Hospital Clinical Nurse Specialist, and your problem relates to care they are giving you, it may be helpful to ring them directly. However, such teams won’t normally be available outside of office hours.

If you are receiving chemotherapy, you will be usually be given the number of chemotherapy unit to ring, should you experience issues such as a high temperature or nausea and vomiting.

If you have very recently had a procedure, including radiotherapy, you may also be given a helpline number at the hospital where you had your procedure, which you can use if you are experiencing side effects or issues related to the procedure.

If you have not been given a direct dial number, but still need to contact the hospital, below are the main switchboard numbers for the Lister and Addenbrookes Hospitals.

Lister Hospital main switchboard: 01438 284678

Addenbrookes Hospital main switchboard: 01223 245151


Last updated: February 2022

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