Key Information

Team name: Palliative Care

Head of Service: Zoe Smith/Dr Rosemary Chester

Team email: wisdom.hospice@nhs.net

Team address: Wisdom Hospice, High Bank, Rochester, Kent, ME1 2NU

Team phone: 01634 830456


About the team

Our specialist palliative care service based at the Wisdom Hospice offers a multi-disciplinary team approach, including a team based in Medway Maritime Hospital, funded primarily by the NHS, with support from the friends of the Wisdom Hospice >

The service includes fifteen in-patient beds, bereavement support, advice and psychosocial and family support to patients and families. We provide community palliative care at home, as well as advice and support through our Day Therapy Centre. Our hospital palliative care team provide advice and support for in-patients referred in Medway Maritime Hospital.

Our team also support education locally, nationally and internationally as well as volunteer bereavement counsellors who provide support to bereaved families.

Referral into the service can be made by any healthcare professional and for patients at home it is with the agreement of the GP.


The Ward at Wisdom Hospice

We understand that being admitted to the hospice may be a difficult decision for patients and their families, whereas others find it a relief that the nurses, Doctors and other staff are able to care for their loved one so the family can concentrate on just being their spouse, parent, sibling, friend.

You may decide to be admitted for symptom management control, or for your end of life care. However, we are a short stay unit (approximately 2 weeks) and if your condition stabilises we will discuss with you and your family about transferring you to a more appropriate place for ongoing care, which could be your home if you wish with carers/nursing support or to a care home.

The ward is divided into three single sex bays with four beds in each bay and three individual side-rooms with en-suite facilities. Patients may occasionally be required to transfer from one bay to another or to vacate a side-room, in order to assist ward staff in maintaining strict single sex accommodation.

Staying in contact with your loved one

We respectfully ask that only the next of kin telephones the ward for updates on patient’s condition and they pass information to other family members and friends to avoid frequent and repeated telephone calls to staff. Ward staff can transfer calls to the patient’s bedside, please note these phones do not allow outgoing calls. 

Please be aware that staff may be busy with patients and unable to answer the telephone immediately. Our telephone number is 01634 830456

Staff are able to support patients with telephone or zoom calls to stay in touch. Please discuss with a member of staff.

Spiritual care

Nursing staff are able to contact faith leaders at any time. Please ask a member of the nursing staff if you would like a visit.  

Infection control

Visitors who are feeling unwell are respectfully asked to avoid visiting patients, and should not visit following diarrhoea and vomiting until free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Covid – if you have any symptoms please DO NOT attend.

Property

You are advised to bring as little as possible in with you, 2 changes of night clothes, slippers and toiletries with some clothes if you are coming for symptom control if you think you may feel well enough to get dressed. We do have a supply of nightwear and toiletries if needed.

We strongly advise you do not bring items of sentimental or high financial value as MCH does not take responsibility for any items bought into the hospice by patients. If you decide to bring in such items e.g mobile phones, jewellery and wish to keep them with you, you will be asked to sign a disclaimer.

We are able to store a few small items for you in our safe if you so wish. Patients, or their next of kin, will be asked to sign that they are happy to hand these over. 

If you bring in additional items, please inform a member of staff

Visiting

Visiting is closely monitored and may change at short notice as protecting our patients, staff and visitors from infection is of great importance to us.

Staff will be able to help and support visitors. Please note that visitors will be required to use the night entrance outside of normal visiting hours.  However, it may be necessary to wait a short time for a member of staff to answer the intercom as attending to our patients remains our priority at all times.

Visitors will be asked to wash their hands on arrival and will be advised on the level of protective clothing they need to wear during their visit which may include mask, apron and gloves.  Visitors are requested to practice good hand hygiene at all times.  You will be shown how to put on and take off this protective clothing, or please ask staff.  Protective clothing must be worn for the duration of your visit.

Curtains will be drawn around the beds for privacy and to support social distancing.

Please note that visitor behaviour considered to be inappropriate or abusive will not be tolerated, and staff will ask such visitors to leave and they will not be allowed to visit again.

Parking

Free parking is available within the Hospice grounds but spaces are limited.  Medway Community Healthcare cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to your vehicle. 

Visitors may park along St William’s Way but are requested not to park in High Bank: there are steps up to the Hospice from St Williams Way. 

Information about local public transport can be obtained from reception.

Smoking

In accordance with NHS guidance and legislation, smoking is strictly prohibited within the Hospice building and grounds. 

Visitors must not smoke on the patio, or in the Hospice grounds, or anywhere within the building.

Pets

Pets are welcome to visit patients, please speak to nursing staff to arrange this prior to visiting.

Access to information

If you would like to talk to one of the medical team, or wish to access counselling or listening support, please speak to a member of the nursing team.

Mobile phones

These should only be used outside the building in consideration of patients and other visitors.

Medication

Our team of doctors and specialist practitioners may make suggestions about your medication and we would be happy to discuss questions about medicine with you, however your routine medication and repeat prescriptions will continue to be managed by your GP.

Community Palliative Care Team (CPCT)

We are a team who offer patients, families and carers help in supporting their loved one to remain at home with their symptoms controlled by the use of medication or alternative therapy.  We will provide advice on medication, symptom management, and what to expect as your clinical condition changes or as you approach the end of your life.  We will liaise with your GP, Oncologist or other healthcare professionals in order to support your changing needs and help maintain an acceptable quality of life. Your GP will remain your primary carer and community nurses will provide clinical aspects of your care, such as injectable medication when needed.  Our support will be in addition to theirs. 

Our support is by clinic appointments, telephone and visits to the home.  A member of the CPCT will refer you to other members of the multi-disciplinary team if needed,for example, Doctors, OT, physio or listening support.

The CPCT does not provide personal care but can facilitate a referral for a package of care if assistance is needed for washing, dressing, toileting or prompting for medication.

My Wishes – 24 hour palliative care line

Please note that for Medway and Swale patients there is a 24 hour palliative care line 01634 792098 (My Wishes).  This is a patient line and is to be used when advice is needed out of hours.

Hospital Palliative Care Team (HPCT)

We are a small team of palliative care nurses and palliative clinical nurse specialists. We have additional support from Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) and Palliative Consultants, though they are based primarily at the Wisdom Hospice.

We provide specialist palliative advice and support for patients with palliative/terminal diagnoses. We provide advice, support and management for specialist symptoms that may occur as a direct result of these diagnoses. However, the patient’s primary doctors and treating teams should be pro-active in reviewing, monitoring and aiding symptom control where they feel able to, in the first instance.

You may be referred to our CPCT when you leave the hospital, if it is appropriate.  Most of our patients need ongoing support on leaving hospital, and this is available from the Wisdom Hospice.  With your consent, we can inform them to make contact with you after discharge.  The team work closely with your GP and community nurse to care for you at home.  We will also provide them with information about your recent hospital stay.

Holding on Letting go (HOLG)

This is a charity for bereaved children, young people and their families in Kent.  Weekend grief support programmes are provided for children, young people and their parents/carers. 

For more information please contact: info@holg.org.uk or 03445 611511

Donations

The Wisdom Hospice makes no charge for any of its services.  Over 85% of the Hospice funding is from the NHS, however it is supported by the charity the Friends of the Wisdom Hospice or Medway Cares. 

Should you wish to consider supporting the charity pleases contact them directly:

The Friends of the Wisdom Hospice
Wisdom Hospice,High Bank, Rochester, Kent, ME1 2NU
Email: info@fowh.org.uk 
Tel No: 01634 831163

Alternatively, the Medway Cares charity, established by MCH in 2012, aims to promote and protect the physical and mental health of people living in the community. You can decide to support our general funds to support our work with the local community or, if you prefer, decide what activities or project that you would specifically like to support.

Medway Cares is a safe and secure way for patients or their families, who wish to make a donation, to give and to decide what they would like their donation to support.  Please speak to a member of staff for more information.