A referral is normally made by a person's own GP or hospital doctor. A district nurse may also make a referral. In some circumstances people can also contact the hospice directly - please click here to find your nearest hospice service.
People are usually referred to their nearest hospice or palliative care service, but in special circumstances out-of-area referrals may be considered.
People may be referred for hospice care as soon as a diagnosis is made, not just at the very end of life. Once a person's palliative care needs have been met, they may be discharged from the service. However, they can be reassessed at any time after this if their condition changes.
Hospice care and support is free to all. The majority of funding comes from central government with the remainder donated by the community in which the hospice operates.