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Referring a patient

Who can refer?

Medical staff, specialist nurses and members of the primary health care team can make referrals. The patient must agree to the referral and their family and the patient's GP must also be informed.

Referral criteria

Hospiscare provide a holistic approach to care with a specialist focus on symptom control, supporting psychological, social and spiritual need. Referrals are encouraged on the basis of need rather than diagnosis for those people living with progressive life limiting illness including cancer and non-cancer diseases.  Most patients will have advanced disease where the current focus of care is palliation or end of life however other patients may have complex specialist needs and can be referred at an earlier stage of their disease where appropriate. 

Why refer?

Patients and their families may be referred to Hospiscare for the following:

  • Management of complex or rapidly changing symptoms including particularly severe symptoms not responding to current management.
  • Psychological and emotional support for both patients, families and carers.
  • Discussion of palliative treatment options.
  • Difficult communication issues including advice regarding advance care planning and managing end of life issues. 
  • Signposting to practical advice and social support.
  • Spiritual care and support.

Method of referral:

If you would like to make a referral, please complete a Hospiscare referral form and send by secure email (NHS net) to hospiscare.referrals@nhs.net

In cases of genuine urgency telephone referrals are accepted on the understanding that they are followed by a completed referral form. To obtain a referral form please phone Hospiscare Clinical Administration Team on 01392 688024. Alternatively contact GP surgery or a referral form can be obtained via Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust HUB.

We will also require up to date relevant medical and additional information to ascertain if the patient would benefit from any of our services. We will ask you to email, via secure NHS email hospiscare.clinicaladmin@nhs.net,  other information such as medical summaries and copies of investigations as appropriate. On receipt of referral our staff will make telephone contact directly with the patient to assess the urgency of the referral and plan for assessment.