Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions we are often asked. If you cannot find the answer to your question on the website then please contact us and we will try to help.
What Is Queenscourt’s goal?
Our mission is to ensure that any adult who lives in West Lancs, Southport and Formby with far advanced and progressive life limiting illness will have access to the best possible specialist palliative care, should they require it.
What Does Queenscourt Do?
Queenscourt Hospice has 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 palliative and end-of-life care and, in particular, to try to help those who wish to stay at home to do so.
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.
How long do people stay at Queenscourt?
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 8-9 days but it is often much shorter and may be longer where clinical reasons require.
What proportion of people are discharged from Queenscourt?
Sixty-five percent of patients are discharged back home or to a care home from an inpatient stay. 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. Patients may come 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?
People with any far advanced progressive and incurable illness (cancer or non-cancer) who have palliative care needs may benefit from Queenscourt’s services.
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 however does not have any respite beds. The skills of our staff are best used for those needing symptom management, assessment in a crisis or rehabilitation to a new level of functioning. 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.
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 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.
Can I Choose Queenscourt as a Preferred Place of Care?
Most people want to be cared for in their own home (or care home) and Queenscourt will do everything it can to try and assist them in this choice. For those who know that this will not be manageable, or is not their choice, then it may be necessary to plan a nursing home placement or a relative’s home. We cannot offer Queenscourt as a place to book into for the last days and weeks of life since to do this would mean that we neither have beds available for those who need them urgently, nor the best use of the skills of our staff. For some people who are admitted with severe symptoms, deterioration in their condition can occur whilst an inpatient and they may die here.
Do You Get Any Government Funding?
We get just over 20% of our running costs from local clinical commissioning groups for our inpatient and day services. The Queenscourt at Home Service is part funded by the Southport and Formby CCG but unfunded in West Lancs. The proportion of our funding which comes from the NHS is steadily decreasing and we still need to raise 75% 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 £3 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. We are always on the lookout for committed volunteers to work in various areas of the hospice, our gardens, fundraising and our shops and cafe. Whatever your skills we can use them well. We are always grateful for donations of money, legacies, give as you earn scheme (has your employer got one?) and in memory of donations. Also, the more you talk about Queenscourt and the work it does, he more word spreads and can relieve the anxiety of the word “hospice”, so you are vital as an ambassador. For those in the faith community we value prayers and support. You may be able to think of novel and creative ways to support Queenscourt and we’d love to hear them.
Are Your Fundraisers Paid?
We do employ fundraisers as we have to be able to create income in these difficult times. 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 four dedicated Fundraising Support Groups, made up entirely of volunteers 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 a condition of this was that the name would be kept for the new building.