Palliative 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 tends to be offered in a way that serves the patient and their family both 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, and therefore so will their palliative care plan. The healthcare professionals already involved in your 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
- Advance Directives
- Hospices in Essex
- Bereavement Support Services in Essex
NHS Palliative Care in Essex
Each of the NHS Trusts operating in Essex offers 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 your relative’s nearest NHS trust, in order to find out more about their provision of palliative care and end of life services. 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.
- Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (North and South Essex)
- Mid Essex NHS Trust
- NHS East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
An Advance Directive is a document that somebody coming towards the end of their life can write to can act as a guide about what medical treatment they would or would not want to receive in the future. This is often in regard to some types of life-sustaining treatments, in situations where they would no longer be in a condition to be able to make that decision. For more information, you can look at Age Space’s guide to Advance Directives.
Hospices in Essex
There are 6 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, but also offer much more than this; they work actively in the community and in people’s homes to provide support and comfort to people at different stages of 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
St Helena Hospice’s services include hospice-in-the-home, day therapies and Singlepoint Virtual Ward – providing care and support to patients at home for a period of up to 4 weeks. People can be referred to St Helena by medical professional or self-referrals from family members and informal carers.
Telephone: 01206 890 360
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 and/or registered with a mid Essex GP.
Telephone: 01245 457300
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 24-hour crisis support advice line. You need to be referred by a healthcare professional in order to access their services.
Telephone: 01708 753319
St Clare Hospice, Harlow
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.
Telephone: 01279 773 700
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 and are registered with a GP within these areas. You are able to make a referral directly, but Fair Havens recommend the involvement of a health professional already involved in your relative’s care.
Telephone: 01702 220350
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.
Telephone: 020 8382 8000
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.