Our hospice community services enhance the care already available in the community and not everyone needs to visit the hospice itself. Many people prefer to stay at home or in their usual place of residence during their illness. If staying at home is your preference the Community Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs ) are happy to talk through how this decision can be supported. It is important to note however that decision making can change and we will always try to be flexible to accommodate any changes in this preference. If staying at home is the right decision for you one of our Community Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS’s) may visit you to talk through how we help to support you.

Our CNS’s are registered nurses who have specialised in palliative care. This means that they can give specialist advice and support to help you manage the symptoms of your condition, but they will also support you and your family to meet your social, emotional and spiritual needs.

Our CNS’s will usually visit you in your home initially and then keep in contact as needed, either by telephone or face to face visits. At that first meeting they’ll talk to you about any concerns or symptoms you are currently experiencing and what might be useful and helpful to address these. You’ll be given a named person to talk to and contact details, but you can also call Katharine House at any time if your usual CNS is unavailable.

Whilst you are in the community your GP will retain overall responsibility for your care. However our CNS’s work closely with them, as well as district nurses and carers, so that everyone involved in your care is kept us to date with your needs and any changes.

Occasionally one of our consultant doctors may visit you at home, by agreement with your GP, to give further support or advice on symptom management.

If you don’t need our support anymore you may be discharged from the community team. If this is appropriate we will agree this with you, and you can of course be re-referred at any time.

If you think you would benefit from our community support please talk to your GP or call Katharine House on 01295 811866. We accept referrals from healthcare professionals, patients and their carers but we do need to obtain the permission from your GP before arranging to visit.

Community Clinical Nurse Specialists

The Community Clinical Nurse Specialists work with patients who have cancer or other life threatening illnesses and their families. They are employed by Katharine House Hospice, and based at the Hospice. All patient care services are entirely free of charge.

The role of the Community Clinical Nurse specialist is to provide specialist palliative care. They concentrate on the quality of life of both patient and family. They give advice and information centred on controlling pain and other symptoms and meeting patients social, emotional and spiritual needs. The care for the family extends into bereavement.

The Clinical Nurse Specialists are registered nurses with specialist knowledge and qualifications in cancer and palliative care, but will support patients with any condition. They share their skills and knowledge with other members of the healthcare team, including GPs, district nurses and hospital colleagues. They therefore work as a specialist resource and advisor. They also deliver education to students, qualified nurses, doctors and other professionals

Service Hours

Monday—Friday 9 am to 5 pm

Weekends and Bank Holidays

A Clinical Nurse Specialist will be on duty 9am to 5pm to advise patients, families and healthcare professionals working in the community. Contact the Hospice switchboard on 01295 811866. This service is in addition to our established 24/7 advice line.

How to contact a Clinical Nurse Specialist

Patients and families may contact us directly by telephoning Katharine House Hospice on 01295 811866.

Healthcare professionals from hospital or the community are all welcome to refer but always with the consent of the patient.

These referrals will be followed up in consultation with the patient’s GP and District Nurse.