What happens if I have a relative in the hospice right now?

Patients who are being cared for in the hospice at present will continue to have their treatment provided there and we have a plan in place to ensure that before the shortage of medical staff begins all patients will be being cared for in the place that is right for them.

What happens if I, a loved one, or a friend, find out they need hospice care in the immediate future?

All other hospice services will continue as they are or be expanded. More people will therefore be able to access care in their own homes or in nursing homes.

Currently 350 people a year are cared for at home compared to less than 200 people in our beds.

However we are talking to other local services to identify what kind of support can be put in place for that small number of people who absolutely need an inpatient bed.

Can the beds be saved?

Yes. If we can find a suitable palliative care doctor to fill our vacancy we plan to reopen the beds.

Why can’t you borrow a senior doctor from Furness General to keep the beds open for now, or get a locum?

In order to continue to offer safe and effective care for inpatients, we need a senior doctor who is experienced in palliative care.

There are very strict regulations in place regarding the level of medical expertise we need on site to be able to do this.

We know there is a national shortage of doctors with this kind of experience.

We’ve tried extensively to find the right person for St Mary’s but have not been able to recruit into the position.