Who Can Refer

Saint Catherine’s cares for people who are over 18-years-old with advanced progressive, life limiting illness (Malignant or Non Malignant diagnosis) and accepts referrals from GPs, District Nurses, Specialist Nurses, Consultants and other healthcare professionals.

Saint Catherine’s seeks to provide high quality support to patients in all of its services, but in doing so must ensure that its resources are used appropriately. To try to achieve this each of the admitting services has admission and discharge criteria which will be applied to all patients referred to us. 


How To Refer

Referrals to all of our clinical teams are made using the single referral form below.

Please ensure that the patient has agreed to the referral and to the sharing of their information according to GDPR principles. Where a patient is unable to consent, please indicate that capacity has been assessed, documented and a best interest decision has been made in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act. 

Please email the fully completed form securely to In most cases this means you need to send the referral form using the NHS Mail service. Further guidance on sending secure email is available by clicking here.

The relevant clinical teams will review the referral by the end of the next working day (Monday-Friday for all teams except the In-Patient Unit team who operate 7 days a week). If your referral is more urgent please also ask to speak to a member of the relevant team by telephone on 01723 351421 to discuss the case in more detail.


Note: Due to new data regulations we will no longer have the ability to receive fax referrals.

You Can Refer To The Following Clinical Services

Referral guidelines and information for referrers about services can be found in the expandable sections below.

In Patient Unit

Patients with progressive life-limiting illness can be admitted to Saint Catherine’s In-Patient Unit (IPU) for symptom control or care in the last days of life which cannot be managed by the current healthcare team. Depending on bed availability, short term carer support admission (less than one week) may be offered when there is significant carer strain for a hospice registered patient whose clinical condition is stable.

Any clarification of need can be discussed with the Specialist Palliative Care Consultants or the IPU Team Leader by calling 01723 351421.

A senior IPU nurse will liaise with the referrer when a bed is available.

All patients must be referred for admission with the agreement of their GP or Consultant.

Patients referred from hospital should be assessed by a member of the hospital specialist palliative care team, if available. The hospital notes should accompany the patient together with relevant nursing and medical documentation including an EPMA print out. Medication not routinely available to the hospice should also be provided on transfer – please check with the IPU nursing staff if unsure.

Wellbeing Centre

There is currently one Wellbeing service available that requires a referral:

Multi-Disciplinary (MDT) Clinics:

The MDT clinics provide assessment as a basis for an individualised management plan. Patients can be referred to the MDT Clinic to be seen by one or more of the following professionals:

Consultant in Palliative Medicine

Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist

Specialist Palliative Care Occupational Therapist

Specialist Palliative Care Social Worker

Specialist Palliative Care Counsellor

Specialist Lymphedema Nurse

Please clearly identify which key professionals (based on the patient’s current symptoms and needs) need to review the patient at the first assessment; further appointments with other MDT members can then be arranged as required and appropriate.

The Wellbeing Centre will soon be offering a variety of self-help and group education activities for palliative care patients and their carers. Notice of availability will be posted here on our website. See more about our Wellbeing Centre here.

Consultant Clinic

Patients can be seen by a Consultant in Specialist Palliative Medicine in the outpatient setting. Home visits can be arranged if deemed appropriate after discussion with the consultant.

Lymphoedema Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinic

The service is for patients with lymphoedema which is secondary to malignant disease and patients with lymphoedema which is secondary to the treatment of malignant disease (this may develop months/years after the disease has been successfully treated).

Bereavement Support Service

Our counsellors and supporters are available to support bereaved relatives, friends and carers of Saint Catherine’s patients find ways of coping with their grief.

Specialist Palliative Care Counselling

Specialist Palliative Care Counselling to support Saint Catherine’s patients, relatives and carers, at any point during the time from a patient’s diagnosis through to the end of life. The service is provided by professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

CNS Community Palliative Care

Referrals are accepted for community patients and families who have specialist palliative care needs, including symptom management and psychosocial issues where those needs cannot be met by their primary care team alone.

Please phone the CNS team on 01723 351421 to discuss if you’re uncertain if the referral is appropriate.

Palliative care is a shared responsibility across all health and social care teams.  Many patients in the last year of their life have non-complex needs and their needs are fully met by their primary care team; they do not require specialist palliative care support and do not need referral to this team.  For non-complex palliative patients, the Community Palliative Care CNS team is available to offer telephone advice and support to health and social care teams.

The CNS team is unable to accept referrals for current hospital inpatients – referrals should be made once discharge to the community is confirmed.

CNS Palliative Neurology

This is small team of specialist palliative neurology CNSs working within the wider Community Specialist Palliative Care CNS team and within the same service model as CNS Community Palliative Care, detailed in the above section. The Neurology CNS’s have specialist expertise in supporting patients and families living with advanced progressive neurological conditions e.g. Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s Plus Conditions.

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