The following are a collection of questions we seem to be asked all the time. But they may not give you all the answers you want so please contact us if you have concerns and we will do our very best to answer them and put your mind at rest.
What is queenscourt?
Our mission is to ensure that any adult who lives in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire and is nearing the end of life will have the best possible specialist palliative care.
what does queenscourt do?
Queenscourt Hospice is based in its own purpose- built premises on Town Lane Southport where we have ten beds for in-patients, day services and an out-patient service.
The Queenscourt at Home service gives additional support to patients and families in their own homes, working with district nurses, doctors and other professionals. Our aim is to play a full part with others in improving end-of-life care and in particular to try to help those who wish to stay at home.
Our Terence Burgess Education Centre is based on the Hospice site and aims to promote best practice in palliative care for our own staff, for doctors, nurses, carers and others. It is gaining a reputation nationally as a centre of excellence and trains healthcare professionals from far and wide.
Is it true that patients can only stay in Queenscourt for two weeks?
Patients are admitted to Queenscourt for the necessary length of time that it takes to stabilise their symptoms. The average length of stay is around 9 days but it is often much shorter and may be longer where clinical reasons require.
Is Queenscourt somewhere where people come to die?
People are not admitted to Queenscourt as a place to live out their final days. Patients come into us for many reasons and unfortunately sometimes the very ill do die here. They may come for Day therapy, for outpatient appointments with one of the doctors or, as an inpatient, for the stabilisation of symptoms so that they can then return home or sometimes to a care home if home is not possible. That is where most people want to be. Our philosophy at Queenscourt is that “Life is for Living” and all of our patients are encouraged to do just that.
Is Queenscourt only for people who have cancer?
Although most of our patients have a cancer diagnosis we also care for people with life limiting non malignant disease and have similar specialist palliative care needs.
Can we book our relative into the hospice for respite whilst we have a break?
We fully understand the need for relatives and carers to have breaks from caring, which are necessary, so that they can continue caring for their loved ones. Queenscourt does not have respite beds. Our beds are used for patients who are struggling with difficult symptoms. If a patient is managing to live at home with their disease but respite is needed, the best place is usually a care home setting where they are not surrounded by others who may be much more poorly than them at that time.
How can I access the hospice services?
If your GP or Hospital Consultant considers that hospice care is appropriate for you then they may make a referral to us.
I understand you do massage therapies and so on. Is it possible to book in for these?
As part of our patients overall care plan we do offer different therapies and these are available to patients who have been referred to us by their GP or Hospital Consultant as part of a complete package of care. It is not possible to book in just for these services as they need to be closely monitored by our doctors to make sure they are entirely appropriate for the patients condition.
Do you care for children?
No our services are for adults (age 18 and over) and there are specialist children’s hospices who have the necessary skills and experience of caring for children.
Why does it cost so much to run Queenscourt?
As with all care organisations staffing is the major cost to us. As a specialist unit, all of our health professionals are experienced and well qualified. Staff training and development is very important in ensuring that their practice and skills are up to date and that they can continue to offer the very high levels of care that we are well known for. Our ward staffing levels are set to give the patients high levels of care but this all obviously comes at a cost. Our paid staff are supported by a huge volunteer workforce and if it were not for them our costs would be much greater.
Does the Queenscourt at Home service do what the District Nurses do?
No, Queenscourt at Home is working alongside District Nurses and GP’s who have responsibility for patients who are living at home. Queenscourt at Home is there to help these primary care services keep people at home and to manage any crisis or difficulties that may occur.
Do you get any government funding?
Yes we do get about a third of our running costs from the local primary care trusts, excluding the Queenscourt at Home Service which is part funded by West Lancashire Community Hospice Association but otherwise unfunded at present. That means we still need to raise two thirds of our running costs and the cost of the Queenscourt at Home Service from public giving. The main part of our income is very unpredictable as it comes from public donations and legacies.
Why are legacies so important to us?
We are an independent voluntary and charitable body and whilst we have some financial support from the NHS most of our income comes from charitable donations. We need to raise over £2 million a year to run Queenscourt. Of this sum legacies and memorial donations contribute by far the most to our funds.
Legacies and memorial donations are therefore vital to us.
How can I help?
There are many ways in which you can help either by donating money or time as a volunteer.
Are your fundraisers paid?
We do employ a part time and full time fundraiser and they, with the support of volunteers work hard at all hours and days organising and running a calendar of events to raise funds for us. They also oversee our charity shops. We also have our seven dedicated Fundraising Support Groups who are all volunteers and who organise their own events to raise money for us.
How did Queenscourt get its name?
Queenscourt was the original name of a house that was left to the charity when we were first fundraising for the building. The property was on Queens Road and because it would have been an inappropriate building for a hospice the executors agreed that it be sold and we would keep the name for the new hospice that was to be built.