Hospice at Home is a small team of nurses with extended skills in palliative care who work in the community alongside the district nurses, the Palliative Care Team and GPs.  They are a city-wide service for patients who want to be cared for at home in the final phase of their illness.

The team was established in 2001 with joint funding from the New Opportunities Fund of the National Lottery and the NHS.  Both provided more funding in 2003 to extend the service.

We believe patients wishing to be cared for at home in the final stage of their illness should, wherever possible, be supported to do so by inter-agency collaboration.

Service provision should reflect a responsive, flexible approach to patients' and carers' needs to minimise any potential distress from symptoms and maximise the quality of life remaining.

The team consists of:
One senior sister / team leader, four senior staff nurses, eight health care assistants and an administrator.

Referral criteria:
A GP or hospital doctor signs a poor prognosis form which indicates a patient has reached the end stage of their illness.

Patients have to be over 16 years of age.

The patient must want to be cared for at home.  Other choices are available.

After a poor prognosis form has been signed (known as level 6) all care is paid for by the NHS.  Hospice at Home can then be involved in a patient's care, if appropriate.  The team collaborates closely with the patient's district nurse who remains the key carer for the patient. 

Planning care:
A qualified member of the team attends discharge planning meetings for patients in hospital, or jointly assesses patients with the district nurse at home.  The patients' and carers' wishes are paramount in planning the care and, if possible, a package of care is organised with the consent of all involved.  The necessary equipment is also provided.

The agreed blocks of care are provided to support patients and carers ranging from a few hours during the day or 10pm-7am overnight. 

The health care assistants providing this practical hands-on care may be from Hospice at Home, the Marie Curie Nursing Service, staff bank or private nursing agencies, all of whom are supported by the qualified team.

Blocks of care:
During blocks of care we ask families to provide access to drink-making facilities, a light source, a comfortable chair and a heated environment for the nurses.

Hospice at Home asks for both professionals and carers to assist in evaluating the service to enable the team to provide a patient-centred quality service.  Evaluation forms are only sent to carers if consent has been formally given in writing to the research department at the University of Bradford.  The ongoing results are available. 

Care provision cannot be guaranteed:
Although every effort will be made to fulfil the agreed package of care, unavoidable circumstances may result in unmet need.  Patients, carers and district nurses will be informed of any changes.

Patients, carers or the district nurses can request visits by the qualified team for assessment or support.

Hospice at Home may not be able to provide blocks of care if there are areas of concern following the health and safety risk assessment.  However, the qualified team will assist the district nurses to care for patients in such situations.

We do not provide 24 hour care.

The team is based at:
The Marie Curie Hospice Bradford
Maudsley Street
telephone  01274 323575/8
fax            01274 322787

Operational hours 8am-10pm 7 days a week