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

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,  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.  



SystmOne is coming to Hospiscare



Hospiscare will be switching over to SystmOne on 7 October 2019. 


In order to improve communication with our primary care colleagues, Hospiscare has selected SystmOne as our new electronic patient record. This will be used by Hospiscare’s community nurses and inpatient unit. This will improve the quality and accuracy of patient information shared confidentially between healthcare professionals. It will also allow primary care colleagues to access the most up to date information about their patients. 

Project Lead, Jan Moore and Clinical Lead, Dr Becky BainesClinical Lead, Dr Becky Baines and SystmOne Project Lead, Jan Moore 

What about data security? 

Hospiscare is committed to providing the highest level of data security, and SystmOne is a secure patient record used by the majority of practices in Hospiscare’s catchment area. Data sharing agreements will be set up allowing confidential information sharing between the patient’s GP and Hospiscare to enable speedier and more accurate treatment. 

How will GPs refer patients to Hospiscare? 

GPs will be able to refer directly to Hospiscare through SystmOne if they already use that clinical system. For other clinical system users, there will be no change in how referrals are made. 

More information

We are working collaboratively with St Luke’s, Rowcroft and North Devon Hospice, who are also moving to SystmOne. We have secured funding for this project from HSLI and it will help to enable the healthcare community in Devon to achieve its aims of ‘one patient – one record’. 

More information will follow. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel to contact Project Lead, Jan Moore at or Clinical Lead, Dr Becky Baines at