Hospice FAQs

If you have a question about the Hospice, which you think should be included in the list below, please email it to:
Catherineh@willowbrookhospice.org.uk.

A hospice is a specialist centre for supporting people with a life-limiting illness – that is an illness that does not respond to curative treatment and requires palliative care and support. Clinical Services provided include:

▸ Inpatient Service with beds to support people to stay overnight

▸ Outreach Service including day hospice activities

▸ Medical Outpatients Service

▸ Therapy services, including Occupational Therapy, Holistic therapies, Family Support, Complementary Therapy, Creative Therapy and spiritual and pastoral services

Hospices care for people with complex needs. This may only be for a short time but enables them to live their days to the full and to be discharged back home if they wish.

Palliative care is for patients with an advanced and progressive illness. This involves the management of pain and other symptoms. It also provides valuable psychological, social and spiritual support.

The palliative care approach also includes support for family/carers. The goal of palliative care is to achieve the best quality of life for patients and their families/carers.

Some parts of palliative care may be needed earlier in the course of illness e.g. at the same time as having other treatments. This may involve symptom/pain control etc.

The aim of supportive care is to help patients and their families/carers cope with cancer and its treatment – from pre-diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, cure, continuing illness, death and into bereavement.

Supportive care is important as it helps patients live life as well as possible with the physical and/or psychological effects of cancer and its treatments.

We generally take referrals from within the St Helens and Knowsley area. If you are outside this area, it may be that there is another hospice closer to where you live. Please speak to the healthcare worker looking after you who should be able to give you advice and guidance

We provide services equally to people of any ethnic origin or background and will do our best to meet individual requirements.

There is a common belief that a hospice is where everyone goes to die. That is not true. The average stay in a hospice is ten to fourteen days, after which many patients return home.

Patients are referred to the hospice by their GP, Consultant or the healthcare worker looking after them e.g. District Nurse, if there are symptoms or problems relating to their illness with which we can help.

The two main reasons would be for either:

▸ For symptom control, i.e. to ease pain, nausea or other problems that cannot be resolved in your own home
For terminal care – care in the last stages of an illness

▸ Of course there are other reasons you may be admitted from these two. Many of our patients are discharged from the Hospice to return to their home so not all patients die here.

Both the Inpatient and Outreach units are staffed by a team of dedicated nursing and medical staff, specialising in Palliative Care, who also have access to a range of other qualified Allied Health professionals for example Occupational Therapists.

No. Many of our patients are admitted for a short period of time so that symptoms may be relieved. This will often enable patients to return home with follow-up support offered as needed for example by returning to Out-Patient Clinic to see the doctor.

Willowbrook supports people with cancer and other serious life-limiting illnesses, such as Motor Neurone Disease, heart failure and chest diseases. Everyone is welcome at Willowbrook, whatever their race, religion or lifestyle.

Our Catering team along with the nursing staff will be happy to talk over your menu with you.

No. As an independent charitable hospice, we make no charge for any of our services.

Approximately a third of our annual funding comes from the NHS via our local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The rest comes from generous donations from our local community, mainly from individuals, local businesses, trusts, schools, churches and other organisations, legacies as well as the efforts of the friends of Willowbrook, Fundraising Team, our Lottery and our shops

No. Our hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of child birth, the hospice provides its presence and specialised knowledge during the dying process.

Our hospice believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so it can provide support however pain manifests itself. Hospice nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. In addition, other members of the specialist team can help with assisting patients to be as mobile and self-sufficient as they wish. There are also staff trained in creative therapy, massage and complementary therapies. Spiritual care and support is available from the dedicated spiritual care team.

There is no set time. It depends on your individual needs, which we assess continually. However, attendance is not long term and patients are usually discharged between 8 – 12 weeks.

No. While some churches and religious groups have started hospices (sometimes in connection with their hospitals), our hospice serves a broad community. We accept patients of any faith and we equally accept patients of no faith.

Our hospice provides continuing contact and support for caregivers following the death of a loved one. This is done through our dedicated team of bereavement staff and volunteers.

We offer short-term support to partners, family (including young children and teenagers) and close friends, offering them help in coming to terms with their grief. Advice and help are also available to deal with social and financial issues.