Frequently Asked Questions

All of our staff and volunteers are on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have.

If you have an urgent enquiry for our medical and nursing teams (which may be for help and advice) please phone 01892 820515. This phone number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To contact a member of the Hospice Team with a medical or nursing enquiry; or a question about any other service we provide for patients, their families and carers please contact us. 



Q. How do I become a Hospice in the Weald patient?

Your GP or medical consultant, hospital nurse or doctor may refer you to Hospice in the Weald following the diagnosis of a terminal illness. However you, a family member, carer or friend on your behalf, are also able to get in touch directly by just clicking the pink 'Access Care' button on the top of the screen and filling out some personal details.  To find out more about being referred to Hospice in the Weald please click here


Q. Why have I been referred to Hospice in the Weald?

Hospice in the Weald provides care completely free of charge to patients with a terminal illness, their families and carers in West Kent and Northern East Sussex. This means we are there 24 hours a day to help, support and care for patients with an illness where a cure is no longer possible, and for patients who will at some stage die from their illness, whenever that may be (you may hear this referred to as “palliative care”).

If you did not refer yourself to Hospice in the Weald then it is likely your GP, hospital doctor/nurse or District Nurse has, although this should have been discussed with you in advance.  Once referred patients, their families and carers can benefit from all Hospice in the Weald service including medical and nursing expertise to help improve symptoms and pain control, as well as emotional support (psychological, social or spiritual) from the day someone is told they have a terminal illness, throughout their treatment and continuing illness or death.  You can read more about all of Hospice in the Weald Services here

Q. Where does my GP fit into this?

Your GP/doctor is ‘in charge’ of your care at home even if Hospice in the Weald is involved. Hospice in the Weald’s medical and nursing team works very closely with your GP and always talks to your GP about any changes in your medication and the plan for your care.

Q. I need urgent help now - who do I contact in an emergency?

If you have an urgent enquiry for our medical and nursing teams (which may be for help and advice) please phone 01892 820515. This phone number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are a Hospice in the Weald patient (or family member or carer) and you know which service you require you can find additional contact information by clicking here.


Q. Do Hospice in the Weald Clinical Nurse Specialists take over from my District Nurses?

No. The District Nurse will continue to be involved with your nursing care. The Hospice in the Weald Clinical Nurse Specialists and the team focus on symptom control, support and advice with the staff nurses and healthcare assistants providing nursing care and support.

Q. Will I be able to come to Hospice in the Weald and stay on the In-Patient Ward if I need to?

If you or a loved one needs to stay at Hospice in the Weald overnight you will stay on our In-Patient Ward.  This is a 15-bed specialist, short-stay unit where terminally ill patients can receive compassionate, individualised, holistic and supportive care (as patients, their families and carers do across all of Hospice in the Weald's Services). We will do everything we can to support you at home, if this is where you would rather be cared for, but if this is not possible, we will secure a bed for you on the In-Patient Ward when required.  Whether you are a patient being cared for at home or on the Ward, all of Hospice in the Weald services are avaialble for you to access and you are welcome to visit the Hospice for Wellbeing Therapies, Creative Arts and Groups whenever you choose.

Q. I have made an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (previously called a Living Will) who should I tell?

As well as telling your GP and Hospital Doctor you can also discuss this with your Hospice in the Weald care team. Your wishes are recorded on our database accessed by all relevant staff. If you would like to consider making an Advance Decision, the information and forms you require can be obtained from your nursing team.

Q. What facilities does the Hospice have for resuscitation?

Hospice in the Weald has the facility to provide basic life support in the event of a heart attack whilst awaiting emergency transfer to an acute hospital. There will be opportunity to discuss this with you and your family and carers. You are welcome to see a copy of the Hospice in the Weald policy on resuscitation or to discuss our approach to treatment with a member of staff if you have any concerns.  You can also read this here. 

Q. How do I raise any comments/concerns about service provided?

Hospice in the Weald aims to achieve excellence in all areas and to provide the best possible standards of care to meet the needs of our patients, families and carers. Occasionally however things may not happen in the way you or we would like and we encourage people to let us know about this, as it helps us to improve the care we offer. If possible, matters should be raised in the first instance with the relevant nursing, medical or support staff either verbally or in writing. If the response is not satisfactory or you wish to take the matter further, a written notice may be sent to the Hospice addressed to CEO Rob Woolley at Hospice in the Weald, Maidstone Road, Pembury, Kent. TN2 4TA

Q. Do you see patients in hospital?

We have close links with the hospital palliative care team and one of our consultants and one of our specialist nurses see patients during their weekly session at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

Q. Do the Hospice doctors see patients in their own homes?

A consultant and specialty doctor regularly review patients in their own homes and provide medical advice to Hospice Clinical Nurse Specialists and local GPs.

Q. Who prescribes the new medications that you've suggested?

We would advise the GP who would usually be responsible for then issuing the prescription. On discharge from the Hospice In-Patient Ward, you would be provided with 14 days medication.

Q. Can my relative visit and stay with me on the In-Patient Ward?

Absolutely.  Visitors are welcome on the In-Patient Ward 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like a loved one to stay overnight it can also be arraanged.  All of the rooms on the Ward have recliner chairs and we also have a few put-up beds that can be moved into a Ward room if available.  There is also a bedroom that visitors are able to use.  Please speak to a nursing assistant, nurse or volunteer on the Ward if you have any questions regarding this.

Q. I often have a small whisky in the evening, do I have to stop if I come in to the Hospice In-Patient Ward?

We are happy for people to drink alcohol (within reason) especially if it's part of their daily habits. You or your family are welcome to bring in something that can be kept in your room.

Q. I'm worried about my favourite dog/cat, can they come and visit me?

We often have pets come and visit patients on the Ward and they are very welcome. We also regularly have visiting volunteer pat dogs for those who like to see and stroke animals.

Q. Do I have to stay in my room on the In-Patient Ward all of the time?

No, not at all. On the In-Patient Ward there is a sitting room and we have beautiful gardens,  should you like to take a stroll or visit the Labyrinth and a Summerhouse which is avaialble for patient, family and carer use. During your stay we would encourage you to use our other services, such as wellbeing therapies. You are welcome to attend a group, wellbeing therapies, creative art session whenever you choose.

Q. What about patient confidentiality? Is all of my Hospice in the Weald medical and personal information safe?

Hospice in the Weald is committed to Data Protection and we take great care to ensure that patient records are looked after properly. We aim to comply with all current legislation. During a visit or stay at the Hospice, you may be asked for information for us to give the correct care and treatment. The patient record covers all aspects of your treatment. All information is kept on a secure computer and may also include x-rays or photos. Within the Hospice, people involved in caring will have access to patient records to enable them to provide the most appropriate care. We may also need to share some information with other people involved in your treatment, such as your GP, hospital doctor, community nurse or social worker. We may also share your information with the 'Care Quality Commission', our regulator. They will also keep your information secure but may contact you regarding our Services. Anyone who has access to patient records is under a legal duty to keep this information confidential. All patients have a right to privacy and we owe you that duty of confidentiality. However, if agreed by you, we will keep your carers, family and friends up-to-date with relevant information. We will not give sensitive details to others without your consent. You also have the right to change your mind about who can and cannot have access to your information. You have a right to access your own Health Record. This can be done informally by asking the person treating you if you can see your notes and if they would go through them with you. For more formal access and copies of notes, patients are asked to contact the Medical Director. When a patient is first visited they are asked if they would like to have copies of correspondence sent to clinical colleagues. If at any time you have any questions about your records you should not hesitate to talk to a member of staff. Please click here to view our leaflet explaining how we share your information and your rights regarding this.

Q. Will I always need Hospice care?

If you have been referred to Hospice in the Weald we are there 24 hours a day to help, support and care for patients with an illness where a cure is no longer possible, and for patients who will at some stage die from their illness, whenever that may be (you may hear this referred to as “palliative care”)

That said, people are often surprised to hear that some patients go home. If your condition stabilises and hospice palliative care services are no longer appropriate, Hospice care can be temporarily suspended. This will be fully discussed with you in advance. It is very easy for the Hospice to become involved again if the need arises and you can contact us to discuss this at any time. We are always here for support and advice