Community specialist palliative care

For patients who require more specialised palliative care in the community, a referral can be made to the Northern Ireland Hospice and/or Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Northern Ireland Hospice Service

The Northern Ireland Hospice provides specialist palliative care in the community for those living in the Northern Trust area. 

Hospice Nurse Specialists

Northern Ireland Hospice nurse specialists work across local areas visiting patients in their own home. They complement the care provided by the GP and district nurse by providing specialist advice and support to try and enable patients to remain in their preferred place of care, whilst supporting families and carers.

Day Care

The Northern Ireland Hospice also provides a day hospice service in Whiteabbey and Ballymoney where patients can benefit from a range of therapies and services.

Inpatient Unit

Inpatient care for adult patients is normally provided at Somerton House in Belfast however the unit is being rebuilt and services are temporarily provided at Whiteabbey Hospital, Newtownabbey.

Hospice at Home Service

The Hospice at Home Service provides nursing care at home for the patient as well as practical and emotional support and respite for their family and carers. The Hospice at Home Coordinator, in consultation with district nurses, will assess and monitor every patient’s needs. Hospice at Home nurses usually work at night but they are also available during the day and early evenings.

How to refer

Referrals to the Northern Ireland Hospice can be made through GPs, district nurses or other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. 
T: 028 9078 1836

Other voluntary palliative care services

Marie Curie Managed Care Service

The Northern Trust commissions the services of Marie Curie Services to provide a range of additional care and support to palliative patients within their own home who require end of life care. Marie Curie works in partnership with the district nurse to support patients with malignant and non-malignant disease.

Referral criteria

The patient meets the referral criteria if:

  • they are aged 18 or over
  • they have palliative care or end of life care need
  • they want to be cared for at home or in a care home
  • they can be safely cared for at home
  • their GP is willing to care for them at home
  • they have family members or carers who need addiditional support with their care

The service has three elements:

  • Senior Health Care Assistants provide an enhanced service from 8am - 11pm, seven days per week.  This is co-ordinated within locality areas, providing personal care to patients and respite to families for short periods during the day.
  • An ad-hoc registered Nurse Overnight Service based on assessed need.

To access these services, a referral to Marie Curie is made by district nursing or the Hospital Diversion Nursing Team.

Registered Nurse based within Dalriada Urgent Care Service are available from 10pm-8am, seven nights per week.  Patients, carers and health care professionals can access this service by calling 028 2566 3500.

Marie Curie Helper Service

The Marie Curie Helper Service is a team of volunteers who spend up to three hours a week visiting patients at home or talking over the phone. The Service is provided free of charge and is available to people aged 18 or over with a palliative care illness, and their families in Northern Ireland.

T: 028 9088 2000

Related links
Community/District Nursing Service

Page last updated:01 April 2015