Palliative care, or end-of-life care, is specialist support for people who are coming towards the end of their life. This type of care tends to focus on ensuring that people are as comfortable as possible at this time. Palliative care includes emotional and spiritual support, as well as physical help.
End-of-life care in Hertfordshire is delivered in a number of settings, including hospice in-patient wards, in individuals’ homes, in hospitals, and from day centres. Whatever type of palliative care support your relative needs, it is likely to be possible that it can be delivered in a location most suitable for them.
This page will guide you through the palliative care support available for people coming to the end of their life in Hertfordshire, including support from NHS and Hertfordshire’s various hospices. For a more general overview of end-of-life care, you may be interested in the Age Space Guide to End of Life Care and Planning.
- NHS Palliative Care in Hertfordshire
- Advance Directives
- Hospices in Hertfordshire
- Bereavement Support Services in Hertfordshire
NHS Palliative Care in Hertfordshire
NHS Palliative care services in Hertfordshire are provided at many levels, and with the involvement of various NHS organisations. The Hertfordshire Community Trust provides End of life Care to most residents of Hertfordshire within the Integrated Community Teams, community hospitals and specialist services, supported by the Specialist Palliative Care team. Some palliative care services in East Herts are provided by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.
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 find out more about the NHS Palliative care services from the NHS Trusts in Hertfordshire below:
An Advance Directive is a document that an individual at the end of their life can write in order to outline what medical treatment they would or would not want to receive as their condition deteriorates. In most cases this is in regard to certain forms of life-sustaining treatments at points where they would no longer be able to express their wishes. You can read more from the Age Space Guide to Advance Directives.
Hospices in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is fortunate to have a number of good hospice services available for its residents. These hospices can provide palliative care and emotional support in a range of settings, including day services, in-patient units and help in the home. It is best to discuss options with a medical professional involved in your relative’s care before seeking out hospice services, though most hospices do accept self-referrals.
You can find out more about each of the hospices in Hertfordshire below.
Garden House Hospice Care, North Hertfordshire
Garden House Hospice Care provide palliative care services for people living throughout North Hertfordshire. They provide a range of services, including an in-patient unit, day services and hospice at home. Garden House Hospice Care’s day services at the Hawthorne Centre are varied, and can provide all sorts of help, including occupational therapy, wellness management and meditation.
Garden House Hospice Care also has emotional and practical support available for the families and carers of the patients that they are looking after. This can include counselling, spiritual wellbeing, workshops, and bereavement coffee mornings. You can find out more about bereavement support in Hertfordshire from our guide to Hertfordshire bereavement support.
Garden House Hospice also have a 24 hour palliative care helpline on 01462 416794. This helpline can provide advice and support at times when your GP or usual health professional is not available.
Telephone: 01462 679540
Isabel Hospice, East Hertfordshire
Isabel Hospice provides a range of services from their in-patient unit, in patients’ homes, and in community settings in East Hertfordshire. They also run a number of exercise and activity groups for people in Hertfordshire coming towards the end of their life as part of their Living Well with Isabel program.
There is support available for carers and family-members also. This includes a bereavement helpline, memorial services, and counselling for adults and children. You can contact the Isabel Family Support Services on 01707 382500 option number 3.
Telephone: 01707 382500
St Clare Hospice, East Herts Border
St Clare Hospice provides care for people across West Essex and both sides of the East Hertfordshire border, including Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. They provide free, compassionate care in a range of settings for patients. This includes community services, activities and groups, help in the home, and an in-patient unit for individuals at the very end of their life.
There is also dedicated help for family and carers for all and any emotional, spiritual, practical or social needs throughout the difficult period of time that is the death of a loved one.
Telephone: 01279 773 700
Rennie Grove, West Hertfordshire
Rennie Grove Hospice Care provides specialist care and support for adults and children with life-limiting illnesses in West Hertfordshire, as well as Berkshire. Their range of services include hospice-at-home care, a day hospice, drop-in activities and services, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Rennie Grove also offers family and carer support services which include face-to-face emotional support, telephone support and also community bereavement events.
Telephone: 01442 890222
Peace Hospice, South West Hertfordshire
Older South West Hertfordshire residents, including those at the end of their life, can receive specialist support from the Peace Hospice, based in Watford. The hospice enables patients to achieve the best quality of life that they are able to. This work takes place both from within their Watford hospice, and in the local community or patients’ homes.
They run free support for family and friends of their patients also. Peace Hospice’s family and friends wellbeing services include counselling and meditation, as well as bereavement support services and groups.
Telephone: 01923 330 330
Hospice of St Francis, West Hertfordshire
The Hospice of St Francis, based in Berkhamsted, provides palliative care services to people living in West Hertfordshire. This care can be delivered in their short-stay inpatient unit, in individuals’ homes, or from their health and wellbeing hub (the Spring Centre). At the Spring Centre, your relative can benefit from a wide number of day services including physiotherapy, creative therapy and spiritual support.
The Hospice of St Francis also offer support to carers, social care for families, and a number of bereavement support services. There is also a 24-hour helpline for West Hertfordshire residents which can be reached on 01923 335 356.
Telephone: 01442 869550
Bereavement Support Services in Hertfordshire
The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult to come to terms with, and it is important to look after yourself and your family. There are a number of organisations in Hertfordshire providing bereavement support services, including many of the hospices mentioned previously.
The type of support available from bereavement support organisations includes counselling, support groups and memorial services. You can find out more from our guide to bereavement support services in Hertfordshire.