The referral process
The referral process for accessing services at St Catherine’s Hospice varies slightly depending on the nature of a person’s condition and the type of care needed. Broadly speaking, however, people must always be referred to St Catherine’s by a healthcare professional.
We prioritise referrals on the basis of need, and the type of service that may best meet that need. We do not operate a first come, first served system.
In-patient referrals are made by a person’s GP, hospital doctor, district nursing sister/charge nurse, ward sister, community matron or a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
It is important that a person is informed and agreeable to the referral and we always check that this is the case.
We review all current referrals each morning, contacting the relevant professional for further information if we do not think we have a complete picture.
We always prioritise admissions depending on a person’s clinical and social needs. In some cases community care may be a more appropriate choice or option, and often we will refer a person on to these services – sometimes as an interim measure while they wait for an in-patient unit bed to become available.
When a bed becomes available, we contact the referring professional to arrange admission. The length of a person’s stay varies depending on their individual need. It is always our intention to help people manage their symptoms and feel comfortable enough to be able to return home if possible. However, some patients will die at the hospice under the care of our highly experienced staff.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) service
Referrals to our community team of Clinical Nurse Specialists are made by referrals are made by a person’s GP, hospital doctor, district nursing sister/charge nurse, ward sister, community matron or a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
The hospice community team manages each referral – ensuring they have the information required to fully-assess a patient’s level of need, allowing them to prioritise an appointment effectively. An appointment is then made with the team and visits managed and co-ordinated from then on, working in conjunction with other health and social professionals such as district nurses.
Referrals from a person’s GP, hospital doctor, district nursing sister/charge nurse or CNS team member are sent directly to our lymphoedema team who then assess clinical need and gather any additional information they may require.
The lymphoedema service then makes an appointment directly with the patient, ensuring that any other healthcare professionals involved are kept informed.