The 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 and your GP has referred you to the hospice, the Katharine House Hospice community clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) will talk through how this decision can be supported.

It's important to note, however, that decision making can change and the team will always try to be flexible to accommodate any changes in this preference. 

Partnership with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH)

On 1 April 2021 our partnership with the OUH came into force. This means that the management of our clinical services has now been transferred to the Trust. Read more on our What we do page.

How the community CNSs care for you

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.

One of Katharine House Hospice's CNSs will usually initially visit you in your home 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.

While you are in the community, your GP will retain overall responsibility for your care. However the CNSs 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 the hospice's 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 CNS support anymore you may be discharged from the community team. If this is appropriate, the team will agree this with you, and you can, of course, be re-referred by your GP at any time.

If you think you would benefit from community support, please talk to your GP.