How to get care
When is hospice care appropriate?
- Hospice care is appropriate at the stage when a progressive incurable illness has been diagnosed. For children under 12 visit the paedspal website.
- Care can be provided alongside medical treatment, and also when curative treatment is no longer available. The goal is to enable the patient to live as comfortably and actively for as long as possible.
What is the referral procedure?
- The referral process takes time and there is often a waiting list. Therefore, contact with St Luke’s Combined Hospices should preferably be sooner rather than later.
- It’s important to understand that first contact with St Luke’s Combined Hospices should not be as an ‘emergency service’. Rather it is a considered, and long-term, holistic care service designed for the specific needs of each individual patient and their family.
What is the admission criteria?
- St Luke’s Combined Hospices has two admission criteria;
- The area in which you reside (all of Cape Town exception the Northern suburbs which is covered by Tygerberg Hospice.
- The illness which you are suffering from.
Which illnesses qualify for hospice care?
- End-stage incurable heart, lung, liver and kidney diseases
- Neurological issues such as Motor Neurone Disease
- If a patient doesn’t fall within St Luke’s Combined Hospices criteria, they will be referred to other appropriate help and support systems. Exclusions include:
- Dialysis patients
- Alcohol or drug withdrawal
Where is hospice care available?
- The majority of care is given in the patient’s home.
- Our specialised nursing sisters visit regularly, and a 24-hour telephonic assistance service is available to our patients.
- Our in-patient unit is also available for short stays, a maximum of 14 days, if the stabilisation of pain and symptoms is required, or if the family and caregivers need a respite period.
- Carers are also given information, practical help, and support where needed.
Who decides to initiate hospice care?
- It may be the patient’s doctor who suggests a referral. But the primary decision maker is the patient, or the patient’s family, who must indicate consent.
What happens next?
- Application forms can be downloaded from our website [see below], to be completed and signed by the patient and submitted to St Luke’s Combined Hospices.
- Medical forms are completed by the doctor, providing as much information as possible and submitted to St Luke’s Combined Hospices. Please try to complete the whole form, as missing details may result in delays.
- St Luke’s Combined Hospices will acknowledge receipt of the application.
- The application will be reviewed by the interdisciplinary team to ensure that the needs fall within the scope of our expertise and resources.
- More information on referrals is available by calling St Luke’s Combined Hospices on 021 797 5335.
What happens after approval?
- A specialist nursing sister will visit the patient and family at the earliest opportunity to meet, establish a relationship, and make an assessment.
- Care will begin at the discretion of the patient and family.
What can you expect from hospice care?
- Quality palliative care and support for the patient by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers and counsellors, which covers physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
- Bereavement support (on request from families) following the loss of your loved ones.