How To Access Ellenor’S Hospice Services Through Self Referral Banner
How To Access Ellenor’S Hospice Services Through Self Referral Banner

How to access ellenor’s hospice services through self-referral

Many of ellenor’s referrals come from healthcare professionals, but it is also easy to contact the hospice yourself and get access to the services you need. You can do this online, by phone or by visiting the hospice in Northfleet.

Head of Wellbeing Andy Lowden is especially keen for patients and their families to know exactly how much his team has to offer – from complementary therapies and seated exercise classes to floristry and painting. Many of these classes are also open to members of the community.

He said: “It’s great for people to feel part of the community and part of the human race. At ellenor you are surrounded by everyday people just having fun. You become part of the ellenor family, and we will help you to achieve the things you want to achieve.”

Am I eligible for hospice services?

If you have been referred by a healthcare professional, you are likely to be somebody who has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. This is likely to be for pain/symptom control, psycho-social support, spiritual support or end-of-life care and decision-making.

But ellenor also offers a whole raft of other services aimed at helping patients, their carers, and their families. Thanks to grants and fundraising by the local community, these services are free of charge, and you do not need to be referred by a healthcare professional

Online self-referral

Probably the easiest way to make an initial approach and find out more about what ellenor can offer is to fill in the online form. All you have to do is go to the website and click the Contact Us button. There you will find a simple form asking for your name and contact details plus a brief description of your needs.

By phone

You can ring the hospice on 01474 320007 where you will either be put through to the relevant department, or you will be asked for your contact details so someone can get back to you as soon as they are available.

In person

You are welcome to come into the hospice reception area in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, where you will be greeted by a front of house volunteer or member of staff. They will be happy to talk to you about your needs and take your contact details.

Dealing with your request

Once ellenor has received a request for help or advice, a member of staff will contact you to find out how they can help. They will ask for contact, next of kin and GP details. Then they will find out what support is needed and forward you the relevant forms.

Andy said: “People might want clinical support from our nursing teams, help with their finances or to meet our Chaplain. Or maybe they would like support from our Wellbeing team – perhaps counselling. They may need family support or have been bereaved.”

The Bereavement Cuppa is an example of how ellenor opens its arms to all members of the community. You do not need to have lost a loved who was under ellenor’s care. Anyone who has been bereaved is welcome to join this weekly get-together. There is a whole variety of Open Access groups like this, where anyone can come along.

Andy said: “We want people to realise the hospice is not some big scary building. Let’s bring the community into this wonderful space. A hospice is about the ethos – not the building. We are not the NHS; there are

Self-refer to any of these groups

You can find out more about various ellenor groups on the charity’s website. Go to the Our Care button and search for Classes and Groups. Some groups you will need to book for, but for others you can just turn up. As well as the Bereavement Cuppas, there are Carer’s Cuppas, a carer’s course, a monthly book club, floristry, and seated exercise. There is also an online mindfulness and relaxation group – and a new horticultural therapy is due to start at the hospice in the New Year. A walk and talk group designed for people who have been bereaved is also open to all members of the community.

Andy said: “We often find that once someone dips into the hospice services for one thing they end up benefiting from three or four things. So many people don’t realise how broad our services are.”

You can also self-refer to the charity’s Living Well service, where outpatients can come into the hospice every day between 10am and 3pm, to socialise, access other support and take part in the various classes and activities on offer. The 12-week programme is goal focussed and aims to empower people to approach life confidently and positively.

Giving something back to the community

ellenor is a charity and without fund raising and donations the organisation would not be able to provide the vital services on offer.

Andy said: “We want to give something back to the community that supports us. It’s a two-way street and communication is so important. We are not in the habit of turning people away and the idea is that if people want to join in with these groups they can.

“I would just say to anyone who thinks they might benefit from any of our services to get in touch as soon as possible, even if it is just after your diagnosis. It’s a good time to find out what’s out there.

Even if we can’t help, it’s likely we will be able to put you in touch with someone who can. Making those initial enquiries can help break down all sorts of barriers.

“Our services are here, and they are free of charge – just come along, join in, get the support you need and enjoy yourself.”