Are hospices gloomy places?

People’s expectations are often different to the reality they find when they come through our doors. We’re keen to encourage visitors, whether they be future patients or families and friends. We work hard to ensure that the hospice is far from gloomy. Our visitors often tell us that, contrary to their expectations, Prospect Hospice doesn’t feel like a gloomy place at all.

Are hospices places people go to die?

Yes, but this isn’t the whole truth. The people we care for are typically in the last year of their life. People who are admitted to our inpatient unit are often very unwell, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to die at this time - more than half return home. Sometimes patients will come for a period of respite care or to help them to manage their symptoms.

Are you open all the time and are there strict visiting hours?

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for patients and their families and friends. You can visit at any time – we have two lodges for families to stay overnight should they wish, and can also arrange for an extra bed or recliner chair to be placed by the patient’s bed should this be preferred.

Are your nurses Macmillan nurses?

No. Locally, the nurses and other staff funded by Macmillan Cancer Care all work primarily at the Great Western Hospital.

Are your medical staff fully trained?

All our doctors and nurses are fully qualified and in most cases have additional palliative care qualifications. If our doctors don’t yet have specialist palliative care qualifications, they will be studying towards them.

Are you still the Prospect Foundation?

We are Prospect Hospice. We used to be Prospect Foundation, but the name changed many years ago and is still often used affectionately by many people across our community who remember the work we did historically under that name. Similarly, we are not The Prospect, Prospect House or even The Prospect Hospice, all names that are used affectionately by people locally for who we are – Prospect Hospice.

Do patients have to come to you or do you come to them?

Both. There are up to 16 beds in our inpatient unit at the hospice in Wroughton and we also provide care in people's homes. Our Prospect@Home service provides care throughout the local community and we also work with care homes.

Do you care for children?

We provide end-of-life care services for adults aged 18 years and over. However, our Family Support Team, through their work with the families of people we care for, will support children as they come to terms with the illness of a parent or guardian, and this extends into bereavement. The nearest children’s hospices to us are Julia’s House in Devizes, Wiltshire, Helen and Douglas House in Oxfordshire, and Naomi House in Hampshire.

Does the hospice only support patients?

Our patients are our foremost consideration, but they are not the only people who benefit from our services. We have a range of services specifically designed to help families and carers in coping with the challenges that the illness of a loved one brings. These include family support, practical planning, advocacy and children’s advice. The service extends to providing information on legal issue such as wills, lasting powers of attorney and parental guardianship. At least as many family members and carers access the support that is available through our services each year, reflecting our belief that, while we are here to care for patients, their families and carers often need our support too.