Referrals are made by telephone to the hospice IPU (Inpatient Unit) on 01485 601700 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

The Consultant Nurse or nurse in charge will take the referral information and, where appropriate, arrange a visit prior to admission.

All patients must have five days of their normal medication plus anticipatory medicines prescribed (including O2 if needed) prior to admission. These must accompany the patient to the unit.

Patients must have a valid Do Not Attempt CPR order (DNACPR).

Patients must consent to admission to the hospice - their families may deputise where necessary - and have an understanding that admission is for end of life care.

Transport arrangements for community patients must be arranged through the GP practice or through the Hospital if transferring from an acute trust.

Admission should be arranged preferably before 3pm.

The patient must be willing to become a temporary resident with Southgates Medical Centre.

Patients and families must be aware that the IPU is only commissioned to provide care for the last two to four weeks of life and if the patient stabilises the hospice will need to consider discharge.

For patients whose situation stabilises or who wish to be cared for at home, alternative care arrangements will be made through the wider integrated palliative care team.