For professionals

This purpose of this page is to provide information for Health Care Professionals:

Wishing to refer a patient to any of the services provided by Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Wishing to access an education programme provided by the End of Life Practice Education Team.

Referrals to the Service

Cynthia Spencer Hospice accepts referrals for patients aged 18 and over who live in West Northamptonshire who have complex care needs and who are suffering from a progressive life limiting illness when a cure is no longer possible.

Such care needs may be physical, emotional and spiritual. We also provide advice and expertise to other professionals who require support when caring for a patient considered to be at the end of life.

Unfortunately the service cannot accept referrals for:

Patients with chronic stable disease, or disability with a life expectancy of several years

Patients with chronic pain problems not associated with progressive terminal disease

Patients whose needs are principally psychological and need specialist psychiatric referral, whether or not they have declined such help.

Referrals are accepted from GPs, Hospital Consultants and their teams (usually in liaison with the Hospital Palliative Care Teams), Community Nursing and other providers of domiciliary nursing care.

All referrals must have the consent of the patient.

Inpatient referrals for symptom control

We accept referrals for patients with complex symptoms that are not improving despite treatment. Symptoms may be a combination of physical, such as pain or nausea, and/or emotional/spiritual. Most patients stay less than two weeks before discharge, by which time symptoms are usually under control.

Inpatient Referrals for Last Days of Life Care

We accept referrals for care in the last days of life where a patient has expressed a wish to come to Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Referrals to the Hospice at Home Team (community Specialist Palliative Care Team)

There are three teams that provide care to support patients being able to stay at home.

Clinical Nurse Specialists and Senior Nurses

Clinical Nurse Specialists are Registered Nurses with specialist knowledge and qualifications in cancer and palliative care. This team provide advice on pain control, management of difficult symptoms and emotional support for patients. They also provide information about their illness and its management, as well as plan for future care.

This service operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Therapy Team

This team consists of Specialist Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. The Therapy team is based at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, however the team will offer community teams expert advice or carry out domiciliary visits if necessary with an emphasis on reducing hospital admissions in conjunction with ensuring quality of life and supporting accelerated discharge from an inpatient setting.

The emphasis of Physiotherapy is on maximising patients’ ability to function, promote independence and help patients adapt to their condition. A large part of the Physiotherapist's role is to provide non-pharmacological management of symptoms i.e. fatigue, breathlessness, sweats or pain.

The Specialist Occupational Therapy team offers assessment, identification of impact of the illness on patient’s daily occupations, analysis and problem solving, joint working with patient/carer and provision of equipment to aid daily living.

This service operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Hospice at Home Support

This team consists of Registered Nurses and Care Assistants who are experienced in end of life care. The team provide nursing care, symptom control and emotional support to facilitate care at home in conjunction with existing community services.

The aims of this service are:

To assist with end of life care where the preferred place of care is in the home (including care homes or other long-term care facilities)

To support rapid discharge from hospice and hospital

Crisis intervention to avoid inappropriate admission in the last days of life

This service operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Referrals are accepted between 9am and 5pm.

How do I make a referral?

If you have a patient who you think needs support from the services provided by Cynthia Spencer Hospice you can make a referral in the following ways.

Hospice admissions:

If you wish to discuss possible hospice admission then please call Cynthia Spencer Hospice Inpatient Unit:  03000 271264

Hospice at Home Team (Community Specialist Palliative Care Team)

Routine referrals:

Please complete the electronic referral form (link to NHFT website)

Urgent referrals or advice:

If the patient is felt to be in last four weeks of life and requires Hospice at Home Support, please telephone your referral to 03007 770002 option 1 (Monday-Sunday, 8am to 11.30pm).

For urgent clinical advice call 0300 777 0002 (option 1). The Hospice at Team are available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. The Community Nursing team are available to triage urgent calls from Monday-Sunday, 8am to 11.30pm

If SPC advice is required outside of these hours, please call Cynthia Spencer Hospice: 01604 678031

Lymphoedema Service

This service is provided for patients who have developed Lymphoedema as a result of cancer and/or its treatment. The aim treatment is to reduce as much as possible the swelling and symptoms of Lymphoedema thereby helping patients to live as normal a life as possible.

This service is provided on an outpatient setting at Cynthia Spencer Hospice between Monday and Friday 9am to 5pm.

Referrals can be made by contacting the team directly on 01604 678006

End of Life Practice Development Team

The Northamptonshire End of Life Care Practice Development Team is based within the Specialist Palliative Care Service and works across health and social care, with both the public and independent sectors.  All require education, training and support to ensure they are able to work effectively with people coming towards the end of their lives and their families.

The Team were thrilled to be the first Hospice in the country to be awarded the ‘Skills for Health’ quality mark in recognition of the excellent delivery of teaching and learning.

Visit the End of Life Practice Development Team pages for more information.

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