If the person you care for has a long-term, life-limiting illness then they are eligible for palliative care, also known as end-of-life care. Providers of palliative care work towards a holistic approach, with care encompassing more than just the medical aspects, including pain management, emotional and spiritual support, introducing you to social support groups, and carer bereavement support.
Your family will be directed to these services from the healthcare professional, or GP, that is looking your relative. They will also help you decide how your parent will want to receive the majority of their palliative care whether it be in a hospice, hospital, or at home. You can find out more about End of Life Planning & Care in a more general sense on the Age Space website.
Continue reading for information on the palliative care services that are available in Cambridgeshire including:
- NHS Palliative Care in Cambridgeshire
- Advance Directives
- Cambridgeshire Hospices
- Bereavement Support Services in Cambridgeshire
NHS Palliative Care in Cambridgeshire
The majority of palliative care will provided through the NHS or sometimes a private provider, especially if you have chosen home-based end-of-life care. After talking with your doctor they will introduce you to the available services in your area.
Organizing palliative care in Cambridgeshire is very much a team effort, utilising the facilities and services from a variety of different specialists including:
- Hospice Services
- Palliative Care Nursing
- Community Neighbourhood Teams
- Local Authority Social Workers
- Local Pharmacies
You can find out more about NHS Services in Cambridgeshire here.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital Palliative Care Team
Addenbrooke’s Hospital, a Cambridge University Hospital, has a specialised palliative care team that exists to help coordinate, advise and support patients and their families through this time. Their philosophy is to provide a patient-centric approach while also encompassing the needs of the family and carers.
You can contact the Addenbrooke Hospital Palliative Care team on 01223 274 404 between the hours of 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday. You can find out more about the care they provide on the Cambridge University Hospital website.
Peterborough Hospital Palliative Care Team
Peterborough Hospital’s Palliative Care team treats any person with advanced or progressive illness in need of help – including those related to cancer.
You can call the Specialist Palliative Care Nurses on 01733 678 585 for more information.
Pharmacies for Palliative Care Drugs in Cambridgeshire
Not all pharmacies hold palliative care medicines. You can find a list of pharmacies that do on the CCG Website for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Sometimes known as Advance Statements, an Advance Directive is a document written by an end-of-life patient that lays out their preferences and wishes for their future care. This is done in case they are not able to express these wishes further down the line. An Advance Directive is not legally binding (as an Advance Decision is) but instead can act as a guideline for future treatment decisions and is taken into account by healthcare providers.
A hospice is a specific healthcare facility with specialist care and medical support. Hospices only provide care for palliative care patients.
This means that every nurse, doctor and any other healthcare professional is a specialist in palliative care and can help your parents get the care that best suits them. The added benefit to hospices is that they know all the contacts for support services for both their patients and their families/carers, and so will be able to signpost to these services.
Your parent does not need to be an in-patient necessarily, with much palliative care undertaken by hospices in the community. This will depend upon your parents needs, and their wishes as to where they wish to receive such care.
Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge
The Arthur Rank Hospice is based just south of Cambridge and also provides some limited palliative care services from the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech. They also support people in their own homes through the Arthur Rank Community Team.
Referrals are processed through the Central Referrals Office, which any healthcare professional can refer to – so ask your GP or doctor about this.
You can find more about contact details, the services they provide, their Care Quality Commision (CQC) rating and directions to Arthur Rank Hospice on their website.
Thorpe Hall Hospice, Peterborough
Thorpe Hall Hospice, operated by Sue Ryder, is based in Peterborough and provides full palliative care, day service care and end-of-life care at home for those in Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire.
Like all the Hospices on this list they will only accept referrals from healthcare professionals. You can, however, find out more about the services they provide on the the Thorpe Hall Website.
Telephone: 01733 225 900
St John’s Hospice, Bedford
For those in the Huntingdon or St Neots area of Cambridgeshire, the St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire might provide your palliative care services. Referrals can only be made by health care professionals involved in the patient’s care.
Visit the St John’s Website to find out more, or use the contact details below:
Telephone: 01767 642 410
Bereavement Support Services in Cambridgeshire
When considering end-of-life care for a loved one, it is important that you also think about the support that you may need to help you through this difficult time. There are many services and support groups throughout Cambridgeshire set up to help anyone struggling with the loss of a loved one.
People cope differently with grief for a variety of reasons and there is no harm in doing everything you can to help you or members of your family get back to enjoying life after the death of someone close to you. Bereavement support might be more structured like professional counselling or more group support orientated like a walking group or coffee club.
Age Space has listed all the Bereavement Support Services in Cambridgeshire here.