“Hello, my name is Barbara. Can I give you a hug?” As an introduction during a situation of great stress, this was perfect. And as an introduction to the Hospice At Home team it perfectly summarised what they do: a warm arm around the shoulder with the personal touch. I and my family will never forget what the Team meant to us during a few weeks in June 2019: the worst weeks of our lives.
Having made that initial call, things moved very quickly. We had a visit the next day and it was explained to us what the Team would do for us. Working with the Community Nurses we would be called on morning, afternoon and evening as required to administer whatever medication was needed and to generally monitor my wife Mary’s situation.
Looking back even just a few months, the events of the following two weeks are rather a blur. The attention Mary received was unbelievable and nothing was ever too much trouble. The answer to any problem was only ever a phone call away. And the attention of the Team was not just on Mary but they kept a close watch on how I was dealing with everything too. Despite the stress of the situation we quickly became friends with the many members of the Team and we were comforted in the knowledge that someone was always available to us. Remarkably, it was not all sadness and gloom and I recall many occasions of banter and laughter.
During Mary’s illness she felt secure and comfortable in the knowledge that ‘our’ Team from Hospice at Home would be there to ensure that she would always be cared for as an individual and with dignity. It is such a special service which is provided and they have to be such special people to do what they do, every day, with such humanity and compassion. I cannot thank them enough and I hope these words convey some small essence of what Hospice At Home means – a hug and an arm around the shoulder. In the midst of the worst times and with all the specialist drugs doing their best, the focus on the patient as a special individual means so much.
We believe that everyone should receive hospice influenced care that is well co-ordinated, flexible and personal to you when you need it, in a setting of your choice. We are committed to delivering the highest quality of service and clinical care to patients, their families or their carers.
Our dedicated team of Palliative Care Specialist Nurses (PCCNS) visit patients at home, nursing homes, residential homes or in hospitals. The role of the team is to provide advice on pain management and other symptoms including sickness, constipation, reduced appetite and tiredness.
The team works closely with your GP, hospital consultant and other health care professional within the community. They also provide advice, education and support to patients, families, carers and other professionals so that regardless of location your carers are equipped with the knowledge and skills that will support you to live well, your way, to the end of your life.
You can be referred to the PCCNS Team through one of the following:
Our Hospice at Home service plays a pivotal role within our community nursing service.
The service provides care to any existing patient of Hospice Isle of Man living with a condition that is terminal or life-limiting. The service delivers hospice influenced care 24/7 helping to meet the needs of individuals and those who are important to them.
Meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients with progressive diseases where the prognosis is limited, and the focus of care is quality of life, by the provision of a flexible and responsive service.
We prioritise patients in need of care that are in the final two weeks of life.
Should the patient require further ongoing care then we can make a referral to a social worker for further assessment. The amount of support our Hospice at Home and community nursing teams can provide will be dependent upon the individual patient’s needs.
We understand that respite for the patient and/or the carer is important and so we can assist in providing temporary respite care after an initial assessment. Patients or carers will be assessed after six weeks under the care of the Hospice at Home team and will work with you to agree the most appropriate care for the respite period.
Discharge from the service will occur following an assessment by the Hospice at Home team who will work with the patient, their family and other members of our team where appropriate.
Should the patient’s condition no longer meet the requirements for the Hospice at Home service, or input of the service is no longer beneficial at that time, a further referral can be made at a future date.
We can offer support to family and loved ones following the death of a patient. Our Hospice at Home team will remain with the family following the death of a patient for as long as is required.
Our team will also take care of informing any relevant community services and the patient’s GP, and advise the family or carers of the safe disposal of any medication or controlled drugs.
Following the death of a patient, we will also offer the family and carers information on bereavement support available should they wish to access that support.
Our referral process involves being assessed by a PCCNS who will determine the level of need, keeping your goals in mind. We will endeavour to support you with your choice of treatment in your chosen setting.
Our Hospice at Home service is partly funded by the Diana Princess of Wales Hospice Care at Home Trust.