What is palliative care?

Palliative care focusses on relieving and preventing the suffering of people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. We treat pain and other distressing symptoms, whilst providing support for you, your family and close friends.

What is hospice care?

A hospice is not just a building, it is a way of caring for people. Our aim is to improve the lives of people who have a life-limiting or terminal illness, helping them to live well before they die. We not only take care of people’s physical needs, but look after their practical, physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs as well. We support carers, family members and close friends, both during a person’s illness and during bereavement.

We believe that great palliative care is about getting the details right, so that a person can be cared for in an attentive, loving and dignified way. We have the enthusiasm, the time and the resources to be able to offer a high standard of care, personally tailored to suit the specific needs of the individual.

See more 360º pictures from inside the hospice

Some myths about hospice care…

Many people think hospices are only there for the very end of life, when all other options have been exhausted and the patient has ‘given up’. This isn’t true at all! We keep meeting incredible people who are determined to make the most out of whatever life throws at them. Our work begins from the moment a person has been diagnosed… in fact, the sooner you get in touch with us after your diagnosis, the more we can do to help.

Hospices are all doom & gloom

Not true! But it is completely normal to feel quite daunted by the idea of using a hospice. Say the word ‘hospice’ to most people, and they imagine an institutional place full of very sick old people, crowded around a loud TV. We feel there’s no need for a hospice to be like this, so we offer a home from home – a warm, bright, friendly place for people to find a sense of normality and optimism (and maybe even fun) during a very challenging time of life.

When would I use a hospice?

Some people think that hospices are only for people with cancer. In fact we help people with cancer, heart failure, lung disease, MS, stroke, or any other life-limiting illness. Our palliative care services are not just for older people either; we are well adapted to help younger people over the age of 18. If you have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness and you feel you would like some support then please get in touch with our friendly team.

How much does it cost?

All of our services are offered completely free of charge. Nobody will mention money to you, or your family. If you would like to donate, you are of course very welcome – hospice care is expensive and we have no NHS or government grant. All of our running costs are met through donations and our fundraising events.

  • “The monks and nuns take time to get to know you as an individual and so are well equipped to help, not only with any physical needs (such as bathing) but also to listen, and share a perspective on the emotional stresses such an illness brings. They equally support family and friends, which is so important, as the strain for them is very hard. The hospice brings joy and laughter and an opportunity to be normal.”
    Patricia Mellish – respite day care patient
  • “I was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. Fortunately for me my local GP was aware of Skanda Vale and the service they provide. I went along with some trepidation at first, but was soon put completely at ease by their friendly, caring, yet extremely professional and efficient approach.”
    Patricia Mellish – respite day care patient


A patients story

A volunteers story

Useful links

Please contact us to find out more