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Ask an expert: Your questions answered by nurse Jayne Bramley

Nurse Jayne Bramley answers your question on what will happen next after a GP referral to Hospiscare

A Hospiscare nurse sitting in a chair

Hospiscare nurse and Head of Community Services, Jayne Bramley, answers your questions

My GP has referred me to Hospiscare, can you tell me what to expect and who will contact me?

When you are referred to us, a specialist nurse will contact you to explain our service.

We will support you to find ways of living with your illness and managing some of the physical, emotional and social issues illness can bring. We will also help you and those close to you talk about the future, as well as your wishes and preferences towards the end of life.

Our Hospiscare teams offer support and advice every day of the year. There are five different ways we can connect with you: home visits, telephone calls, virtual video consultations, outpatient clinic appointments and a stay on our specialist ward.

The Hospiscare team is made up of many different professionals such as clinical nurse specialists, specialist palliative care doctors, a physiotherapist, complementary therapists, spiritual support staff and trained volunteers. This team allows us to support you in a holistic way depending on your individual care needs.

The team will work closely and communicate with your GP and hospital consultant for medical care, the community nursing team for your nursing needs and other health and social care services according to your needs and wishes. Should you be admitted to the hospital, you may be referred to our specialist doctors who will work closely with the medical and nursing team on your ward.

Working alongside some of our community nurse specialist teams is our Hospiscare at Home service. These specialist teams offer hands- on nursing care when required, whether night or day, and support patients who wish to stay at home at the end of their lives. At present, this service is available in Okehampton, Crediton, Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and their surrounding villages, but we hope to expand this service to more areas within the next few years.