Palliative and end of life care

Palliative care is help to support you if you have an illness or condition that cannot be cured and threatens your life. This is also known as a terminal illness or diagnosis. At the later stages the palliative care is also called end of life care, and often this includes support from a hospice.

This care can help you to live as comfortably as possible by managing your pain and other distressing symptoms. It can include psychological, emotional and practical support for you and your family or carers. 

Support can also help you to deal with the news about your illness or condition, how to tell family and friends, and how to make preparations for your death.

There are services that support everyone and others that support people with a specific illness or condition like Dementia or cancer. And there are services that can help family, friends and loved ones cope during this time and with bereavement.

This page includes more information on:

Help from the NHS.

St Luke's - Sheffield's Hospice.

Help with your finances.

End of life care.

Help with a specific illness or condition.

Support for family and friends, loved ones and carers.


Help from the NHS

In Sheffield palliative care is provided by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and St Luke’s Hospice. Staff visit and support patients and families at home, in hospital or at a nursing home or the hospice.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals: Palliative care information for patients (PDF, 521 KB).

Hospital Palliative Care Teams.

Northern General Hospital: Call 0114 226 6770.

Royal Hallamshire Hospital: Call  0114 226 5260.


St Luke's logo

St Luke's - Sheffield's Hospice

St Luke’s, Sheffield’s Hospice provide palliative and end of life care to nearly 1,800 people across Sheffield each year, while also supporting their families and carers too.

They are there for people aged 18 and over from across the Sheffield region - at all stages, from the point of diagnosis with a terminal illness - be that end stage neurological, heart, kidney or lung conditions, cancer, HIV, dementia or other serious illness. They also partner with, and train other organisations, both within Sheffield and beyond, to share support and knowledge with others, for better end of life care for all.

St Luke's Patient and Family Support Service (previously Clifford House and Active Intervention Centre) are now running from their Ecclesall Road South site and Little Common Lane building.

St Luke’s care and support is tailored to each patient and their teams work together to help patients achieve their goals and wishes. As well as expert medical care and support, they are proud to deliver the non-clinical aspects of our care that help our patients manage their symptoms.

They offer a range of services including: physio and occupational therapy, wellbeing and creative therapies, social work and chaplaincy or spiritual support for all faiths and none. This could include relaxation and wellbeing techniques, tips on nutrition, routine and sleep as well as fun activities for all interests.

Activities include: Complementary Therapy, Pilates, Chair Pilates, Indoor Bowling, Indoor Kurling, Indoor Bowling, Chair Yoga, Knit and Knatter, Gupshup, Coffee Morning, Cookery DIY, Reiki, Tai Chi, Singing Group, Chair Dancing, Crafternoons, Art Club, Mindfulness, Quizzes and Board Games.

Families and friends play a valuable role in a patient’s care so they also provide dedicated support for loved ones too through social, spiritual and bereavement support.

The service supports:

  • Patients aged 18+ across Sheffield, who have been diagnosed with a palliative condition for example Cancer, a Neurological condition, COPD, Heart Failure or HIV/Aids.
  • People 18+ (except children accessing bereavement groups or accompanied by a parent).
  • People who have had a recent bereavement of a relative, family member or close friend who was cared for by St Luke’s.
  • People currently caring for a St Luke's patient or with a family member or close friend who is a St Luke's patient.

You can complete a self-referral form and get details of their latest activities on their website.

St Luke's: Patient and Family Support Service.

Email: pafss@hospicesheffield.co.uk.

Call: (0114) 235 7650.

St Luke’s Specialist Palliative Care Community team’s main aim is to support patients throughout their illness so that they have the best possible quality of life and relief from symptoms, often helping to avoid hospital admissions. St Luke’s Specialist Palliative Care Community team provide advice and support to patients and their families. This service operates between 9 am and 5 pm seven days a week.

85% of the people St Luke’s care for are supported by St Luke’s Community team in their own home or care home. Home is usually where we’re most comfortable, and closest to the people and things that matter to us, especially as we become unwell. So, it’s their mission to enable those who choose to, to stay in the place they love.

They support patients to have flexible choices about where they are looked after, including enabling some to die at home, if that is their wish. By working together with district nurses, GPs, social workers and other professionals and specialists, they deliver ’wrap around care’ to patients and, often, their families too.

St Luke’s have a core team of Clinical Nurse Specialists but you may also have a visit from their Assistant Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Wellbeing Practitioners, Social Workers, or Chaplains depending on your wishes and needs. They have a Consultant and Specialist Registrar in Palliative Care Medicine – and you may also meet Junior Doctors in the earlier stages of their training.

St Luke’s Community team are an experienced team who provide advice and support to patients with life-limiting conditions and their families in their own homes across Sheffield.

If you need to speak to one of the team, please call the Patient & Family helpline number on (0114) 235 7494.

St Luke’s In Patient Centre, is open 365 days a year, offering up to 20 patients, around the clock, tailored care. Over fifty years ago, St Luke’s opened as the first modern hospice in the UK outside of London. Today, their ln Patient Centre provides 24 hour specialist palliative care for around 300 patients each year – that’s around 5,000 days and nights of care.

Patients are often admitted for symptom control such as for pain or breathlessness, specialist palliative rehabilitation, or end of life care.

Patients can be referred to St Luke’s In Patient Centre by their St Luke’s Community nurse or doctor, the Patient and Family Support team, their own GP, their specialist care nurse, oncology consultant, or from one of the Sheffield Hospitals – such as the Royal Hallamshire hospital and the Northern General hospital.

Their multidisciplinary team of experienced specialist doctors, nurses, occupational- and physio-therapists specialise in symptom and pain management. Their combined support provides not only help to patients but also allows loved ones the time to step back from a carer’s role and spend precious time together.

They also have a dedicated in-house Catering team who can tailor their menus to suit individual patient needs, with all dietary requirements taken care of, prepared onsite with locally sourced ingredients.

In addition, they have a number of facilities that include a spa bath for patients, a physio gym, creative therapy room, and a garden room, as well as access to their grounds and gardens.

St Luke’s provides support and counselling to carers, families and friends following the loss of a loved one who received care from any of St Luke’s services.
Grief is a natural consequence of loss, and people often manage their bereavement using their own resources and their usual social circle.

St Luke’s know that sometimes it’s useful to get support from elsewhere and that’s where their services can help. Their bereavement services operate Monday to Friday with a team of trained counsellors and trainee counselling volunteers and students.

Bereaved relatives are referred to the service from a number of our clinical teams – either from St Luke’s In Patient Centre, by a St Luke’s Community nurse or doctor, or from their Patient and Family Support Service – through social prescribing.

Bereaved relatives are now able to refer themselves to St Luke’s Bereavement service via their website. Visit the website to find out more about how to refer.

St Luke's: Bereavement Services.

The services St Luke’s provide are telephone counselling, one-to-one and face-to-face counselling sessions, or group counselling at their Ecclesall Road South site.

During this time, bereaved people can access St Luke’s Patient and Family Support Service and activities, for additional practical, wellbeing, spiritual and social support.

If your doctor or hospital informs you that you have a terminal illness or condition, they will offer you advice about the support available from the NHS, and from local and national charities and organisations. Get advice on health support from the NHS website.

NHS: What end of life care involves.

You may find it useful to write an advanced care plan. This tells people what you want to happen for your future care, including where you would like to die, what spiritual beliefs you would like to have followed and any practical concerns you want to be taken care of. You can give this to your family, carers and medical professionals involved in your care. There is more advice about this on the NHS website.

NHS: Advance statement about your care wishes.

You may also want to think about making decisions about what treatments you want early, before you illness or condition gets worse. You may not want some medical treatments, like being resuscitated. You can make an advance decision to refuse treatment or a ‘living will’ to state what treatments you do and do not want. It’s a formal document that needs to be written down, signed and witnessed. Get more advice on this from the NHS website.

NHS: Advance decision to refuse treatment (living will).

Video guide

This 4 minute video explains more about advanced care planning in just 5 simple steps.advance care planning video

Made by the Gold Standards Framework (who train staff in end of life care).

Gold Standards Framework: Advanced care planning video.

On their website you can also download a guide to planning your future care by the National Council for Palliative Care.

Gold Standards Framework: Guide to planning your future care (PDF, 270 KB).


Help with your finances

You want to get help to make a will. A will lets people know what you would like to happen to your money, property and possessions after your death. Get more advice from the GOV.UK website.

GOV.UK: Making a will.

Help to manage your money. There are ways that your family, friends and carers can help you to manage your money and take responsibility for your finances when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. Get more advice from our Money section.

Support with managing your money.


End of life care

There are many places that specialise in supporting people in their final days. They are called hospices. Some hospices can also provide care at home. Often people are referred to a hospice by their GP, district nurse or hospital. 

St Luke's is the main hospice in Sheffield. There's more detail about their support above.

You can find details of all the hospices in the UK on the Hospice UK website.

Hospice UK: Hospice Carefinder.

The main national charities supporting end of life care are Marie Curie and Sue Ryder.

Marie Curie provides frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement.

Marie Curie: What we do.

Helpline: 0800 090 2309.

Sue Ryder supports people through a terminal illness, people dealing with the death of someone close to them, and people with a neurological condition.

Sue Ryder: What is palliative or end of life care.


Help with a specific illness or condition

Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinsons disease

Detailed advice about the range of support services in Sheffield is available from our Dementia Support pages.

Dementia Support in Sheffield.

Heart, liver or renal failure

The Sheffield Area Kidney Association helps kidney patients and their families cope with kidney failure, including financial support to renal patients.

Sheffield Area Kidney Association (SAKA).

The British Heart Foundation has advice on the symptoms of heart disease, heart surgery, recovery and coping with a heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

British Heart Foundation: End of life care.

Nurse helpline: Call 0808 802 1234.

British Heart Foundation: Difficult conversations - talking to people with heart failure about the end of life (PDF, 1.2 MB).

Cancer

In Sheffield the Weston Park Cancer Centre helps around 500 people a year with cancer to improve the quality of their life, including their physical, psychological, social and spiritual concerns, and with end of life care.

Weston Park Cancer Centre: Supporting you all the way.

Helpline: Call 0114 553 3330.

Riprap supports young people when a parent has cancer. Their website offers advice, stories of other young people, and an online forum. 

Riprap: Support.

MacMillan is the main national cancer charity.

MacMillan Cancer Support: Palliative and end of life care.

Respiratory conditions chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

In Sheffield, Breathe Easy Support Group supports people with lung conditions (not medical advice or treatment).

Breathe Easy Support Group.

Asthma and Lung UK's website has advice on lung conditions including end of life care.

Asthma and Lung UK: end of life.

Helpline: 0300 222 5800.

The COPD Foundation gives advice and support and has an online social community to talk to others and ask questions.

COPD Foundation: Stages of COPD.

Motor Neurone Disease

The Motor Neurone Disease Association gives information and support for anyone affected by the disease, including  end of life care and planning ahead

Motor Neurone Disease Association: Planning ahead.

Helpline: Call 0808 802 6262.

The association has a South Yorkshire branch based in Sheffield.

Motor Neurone Disease Association: South Yorkshire Branch.

Call: 0114 265 3774.

They have a  care centre based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Motor Neurone Disease Association: Sheffield Care Centre.

Call: 0114 226 5388.

Their end of life guide helps to plan ahead and make end of life decisions so your wishes and preferences are known and respected.

Motor Neurone Disease Association: End of life guide (PDF, 2 MB).


Support for family and loved ones, friends and carers

It can be difficult to talk to people in your life about dying and end of life care. Hospice UK give advice on how to start a conversation, and working to create an open culture in which we’re comfortable talking about death, dying and grief. 

Hospice UK: Dying matters.

During end of life care people can go through physical and emotional changes. If you care for someone with a terminal illness it is helpful to know what to expect, and how to support them. Marie Curie has advice on the rewards and the challenges involved.

Marie Curie: Being there.

Support line: Call 0800 090 2309.

The Good life, good death, good grief website has advice on how to spot changes in the person during end of life care and how to best support them.

Good life, good death, good grief: What happens when someone is dying

Bereavement and grieving

The Bereavement Advice Centre supports and advises people on what they need to do after a death.

Bereavement Advice Centre: Practical help when someone dies.

Helpline: Call 0800 634 9494.

Cruse Bereavement Care promotes the well-being of bereaved people and helps them to understand their grief and cope with their loss. 

Cruse: Bereavement support.

Helpline: 0808 808 1677.

Cruse has a Sheffield Branch that offers one-to-one and group support.

Cruse: Sheffield branch.

Call: 0114 408 1408.

Cruse also has a special website for children and young people which includes a message board to share experiences and receive replies from trained young supporters.

Cruse: Hope Again.

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