Palliative Care in Essex

Palliative Care in Essex

Palliative care in EssexPalliative care, also known as end-of-life care, is for people who are coming to the end of their lives due to illness. Palliative care is offered to serve both the patient and their family in terms of their medical and emotional needs.

Palliative care can take place in a range of settings: in hospitals and hospices, in the community – at home or in care homes. There is a common misconception that hospices are only in-patient wards, but they actually all offer a lot of other support, including day services, help at home and help in the community.

Each person’s palliative care needs will be different, so palliative care plans will vary as well. The healthcare professionals already involved in your elderly relative’s care will be able to help signpost you to local services at the right time in their condition.

This page will help to guide you through the palliative care support that exists in Essex and who you can contact for help. If you are looking for more general information about palliative care, you can read our guide to End of Life Care and Planning.

NHS Palliative Care in Essex

Palliative Care in Essex - NHS CareEach of the NHS Trusts operating in Essex offer palliative care services, both in hospitals and in the community. The type of care that you can expect from these services includes:

  • Helping patients and their families to cope with diagnosis, illness, and disease progression
  • Managing physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs
  • Managing pain and symptoms
  • Supporting patients and families to access other services such as financial advice or spiritual care
  • Care for patients and their families throughout illness, death and into bereavement.

You can use the links below to find specific details on your relative’s appropriate NHS trust and the provision of palliative care and end of life services they can offer. The best way to access these services is by speaking to your relative’s GP or healthcare professional who will be able to make a referral to the most appropriate services.

Advance Directives

An Advance Directive is a document that somebody coming towards the end of their life can write, which will act as a guide for what medical treatment they would or would not like to receive in the future. This is often in regard to some types of life-sustaining treatments when they are no longer in the right condition to be able to make the decision. For more information, you can look at Age Space’s guide to Advance Directives.

Hospices in Essex

There are six hospices across Essex that serve older people who are coming towards the end of their life. Hospices are dedicated only to palliative care services, meaning that all of their teams and professionals are expertly trained to support your relative during this period.

Hospices have In-Patient Wards for people at the very end of their life, as well as working actively in the community and in people’s homes to provide support and comfort at all stages or their illness.

You can find more information about the services offered by each hospice in Essex, as well as their contact details, below.

St. Helena Hospice, Colchester

End of life support from hospices in Essex

St Helena Hospice’s services include Hospice in the Home, day therapies, telephone support and a Virtual Ward – providing care and support to patients at home for a period of up to 12 weeks. People can be referred to St Helena by medical professional or self-referrals from family members and informal carers.

Farleigh Hospice, Chelmsford

Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford’s services take place primarily in the community and in patients’ homes and care homes, but they do have an In-Patient Unit providing round-the-clock respite and end-of-life care. Farleigh Hospice accepts self-referrals, and is only for people living in mid Essex or registered with a mid Essex GP.

Saint Francis Hospice, Romford

Saint Francis Hospice in Romford is one of the largest adult hospices in the UK and is open to people from the areas of Havering, Brentwood, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and West Essex. They offer a a range of services, including In-patient care, hospice-at-home and a 24-hour crisis support advice line. You need to be referred by a healthcare professional in order to access their services.

St. Clare Hospice, Harlow

hospices in Essex

St Clare Hospice’s work focuses on people living across the West Essex and the East Hertfordshire border. St Clare Hospice offers In-Patient services, day therapy, community support and specialist support for patients and their families. Potential patients, their families, friends and informal carers can refer directly for services.

Fair Havens Hospice, Southend

Fair Havens Hospice for adults in Southend offers a range of palliative care services that can be provided through their In-Patient unit, via services in the community or in patients’ own residences. Their free services are only for people who live within the Southend, Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust areas or are registered with a GP within these areas. You are able to make a referral directly, but Fair Havens recommend going through a health professional already involved in your relative’s care.

St. Luke's Hospice, Harrow

St Luke’s, the local hospice for the Harrow and Brent areas, has an In-Patient Unit, as well as offering day services, care at home, and emotional support for patients and carers. Only healthcare or social work professionals are able to make referrals to St Luke’s, so you should speak to a healthcare professional involved in your relative’s care if you want to be referred for their services.

Bereavement Support Services in Essex

It is important to keep in mind the emotional support that you and other family members may need during the bereavement period. It is a very difficult time, but there are plenty of organisations in Essex that provide help of all kinds.

This can range from 1-to-1 counselling, to relaxed tea afternoons with other bereaved people. To find out more, look out our page on Bereavement Services in Essex.