Palliative Care in Dorset

Palliative Care in Dorset

Being told that you or someone you love and care for has a life limiting illness is tough news to receive. The care an individual needs at this time will be focused upon supporting him or her to have the best possible quality of life, independence and control over their life and care.  

Palliative and end of life care is about treatment and care focusing on the needs of the whole person as well as their family, carers and friends. It is not just about managing pain and other symptoms but includes support to deal with emotional needs, social and spiritual needs, care in bereavement and help dealing with the financial effects of facing an end of life situation. 

Hospices in Dorset

Dorset has two hospices for adults – Lewis Manning Hospice at Poole and Joseph Weld House, run by Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, based in Dorchester and serving the rural county.  There is also Forest Holme, the hospice wing of Poole Hospital.

Weldmar Hospice Trust

Joseph Weld Hospice, Herringston Rd, Dorchester DT1 2SL

Phone: 01305 215300


Weldmar Hospicecare Trust (HQ)

Hammick House, Bridport Rd, Poundbury, Dorchester DT1 3SD

Weldmar Hospicecare is the only agency that provides palliative care throughout north, west and south Dorset. Palliative care is the care that is needed to manage symptoms which are very complex. Weldmar Hospice care cares for patients with cancer and other progressive conditions, such as motor neurone disease, largely at the end of life. Patients have a seamless service, whether they require care and advice in the comfort of their own homes, in day centres throughout the county or as inpatients at Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester.

The work that Weldmar provides throughout Dorset has recently been rated as “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission. This is the highest possible rating for the charity and one that the team are proud to deliver each and every day. They use doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a chaplain, complementary therapists, art and music therapists, social workers, bereavement workers and over 250 patient care volunteers to do their work. Support is given to both the patient and their loved ones throughout the journey they may take with the Weldmar team.

The loved ones are also supported with Weldmar providing bereavement support for children, carers and relatives both pre and post bereavement. The team at Weldmar help to create memories and ensure that life is added to patients last days.

Weldmar Hospicecare was originally three charities, Cancer Care Dorset (formerly West Dorset Macmillan Service), Joseph Weld Hospice (opened in 1994) and Trimar Hospice. The services merged between 2003-2004 to form Weldmar Hospicecare, which now stands as a vital service throughout the county.  Weldmar works with other care providers throughout Dorset to ensure the patient and their loved ones receive the best possible care that they can. They also work with over 800 volunteers throughout the county, 250 of which support with patient care activities.

Weldmar has a chain of charity shops and furniture outlets throughout the county to help raise funds for the charity and there is a team of fundraisers who support individuals holding their own fundraising events as well as organising flagship events in the county themselves.

Patients can be referred by their GP or, self-refer should they wish to. Please speak to your GP or visit their website for more information.

Lewis Manning Hospice

1 Crichel Mount Rd, Poole BH14 8LT

Phone: 01202 708470


Lewis-Manning Hospice is Poole’s voluntary hospice offering free specialist palliative nursing care to the people of Poole, Bournemouth and the surrounding towns and villages living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. The hospice has a range of services run by its team of palliative care nurses, including end of life care, day hospice (specialist nursing care, physiotherapy, creative arts and complementary therapy) and lymphoedema clinic.

The hospice is named after the late Marjorie Lewis-Manning, a local businesswoman, who had identified a need for a day hospice and wished that her home should become a day hospice for people living with cancer. She started making plans but died in 1987 before her vision became a reality. She left her  house and grounds to three trustees to fulfill her wish and the day hospice opened in 1992 as Lewis-Manning Hospice and the lymphoedema clinic was started. The hospice has expanded its servicesto include a better breathing clinic, physiotherapy, creative arts therapy and bereavement and education services. At the end of 2016 the hospice started to provide end of life care in the 12 bed inpatient unit.

Forest Holme Hospice

5 Seldown Rd, Poole BH15 1TS

Phone: 01202 448118


Forest Holme is a purpose-built specialist palliative care unit which is part of and close to Poole Hospital, offering a tranquil setting for the care of patients and their families. It has facilities for outpatients, specialist nurses working both within the community and in the hospital, counselling support and fundraising,  with 12 beds for inpatients on the ground floor. It deals particularly with the physical and psychological comfort of patients with complex needs and provides support and advice to carers, family and friends.

Forest Holme takes its name from the Victorian house that originally stood on the site. The unit was dedicated by the late Roy Castle on 3rd July 1993, and was officially opened by the Lady Romsey on 9th January 1995.

If you would like more information about end of life planning and care, read our section here.

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