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Project information

Supporting patients & families in their own home

To support local people to be cared for and live well at home towards the end of their life, and to die in their preferred place. This is facilitated by the expert advice and care of our Clinical Nurse Specialists, hereafter called community nurses, who provide comfort at an often difficult time.


Charity information: St Peter & St James Hospice

St Peter & St James Hospice logo
  • Need


    Surveys repeatedly find most people want to die at home, but in reality the most common place of death is in hospital (almost 50% of the deaths in England last year were in hospital). This puts pressure on our hospitals’ limited physical and personnel resources, and the unfamiliarity of a clinical environment can be distressing for patients and their families. Furthermore, research shows that insufficient practical support impacts negatively on carers physical and mental wellbeing.


    Our community team will be better equipped to ensure appropriate emotional and practical support is provided to local families in their own homes. This support empowers patients to make decisions and have more choice around their death, at a time when much of their life is no longer in their control, and to stay at home for as long as possible. This will enable more people to fulfil their wish to die in familiar, comfortable surroundings, therefore allowing them the best possible ‘good’ death.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve the quality of life of patients living at home


    » The hospice community nurse will liaise with medical and social care professionals to ensure the provision of the best possible care.
    » The support of a hospice community nurse empowers local patients to make decisions and have more choice around their death.
    » Seeing the ‘real’ person in the context of their own home allows the community nurse to know how to best comfort them towards the end of their life.

    What success will look like

    Regular internal data analysis of how many patients died in their preferred place of death, and feedback from families regarding their loved one’s final weeks.

    Aim 2

    To advise and support carers/families in their time of need


    » The provision of practical and emotional support given by a caring, trusted professional in the home, makes it easier to cope with daily life.
    » By ensuring the family feels better supported themselves, it means in turn they can give better care to their loved one.
    » The continuity of each caseload means strong relationships are built with families over time, thus ensuring the most appropriate support is provided.

    What success will look like

    Feedback from bereaved families about their experiences with their community nurse.

    Aim 3

    85%+ of patients to die in their preferred place of death


    » The community team carry out thorough advanced care planning when meeting a new patient, meaning their final wishes are known and worked towards.
    » The community team put in place practical support in the home, such as arranging the provision of a hospice bed, to allow patients to remain at home.
    » The community team liaise with hospice ward staff to prepare admissions for those patients who have chosen to die in the hospice.

    What success will look like

    Data analysis of the number of people cared for who died where they wanted to.

  • Impact


    This project will establish that dying well at home is achievable when the appropriate care and support is put in place, and will allow more patients to die in the place of their choosing. Carers and patients will feel more supported and empowered to make their own decisions, therefore improving the patient’s quality of life at home in their final weeks. Success will be demonstrated through internal data analysis and any verbal or written feedback given by bereaved families.


    Financial risk is a factor to consider, however this is monitored closely by our Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team and risk is spread over multiple income streams to ensure the sustainability of our service. Continual increase in demand for this service may also pose a risk as it could put a strain on our financial and personnel resources. However, budgets and caseloads are monitored regularly to ensure they are consistent and manageable, in order to maintain this service long term.


    Upon giving a donation, the donor will be written to and given a unique, personalised thank you. Donors are given the opportunity to attend events or Open Days at the hospice, or have a hospice tour, and we send our Caring magazine giving updates on the hospice to those who have given consent.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Salary Fund one Clinical Nurse Specialist for one year
      £5,000 Travel Towards travel expenses
      £1,000 Communications Communications
      £1,000 Clinical Supervision Covers one year
      £1,000 Training Covers one year
      £2,000 Support Clinical Admin Support

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Pledge 1 £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Hospice’s catchment area of Mid Sussex has a population of 165,000 across 66,000 households. The age profile within the Mid-Sussex District is largely higher than the national average, with the over 65 population predicted to grow from 46,800 to 74,200 by 2039. With a growing elderly population, and 11,500 people over 65 living alone, the sufficient provision of care in this area is crucial to meet increasing demand. Sussex also has the highest prevalence of dementia in the country.


    The main beneficiaries of this project will be local patients at the end of their life, as well as carers and family members living with them. This project will primarily help those who wish to remain at home for as long as possible at the end of their life. Community patients are under the care of the community nurse who works in their area, where they are well placed to co-ordinate the best level of care and support through long-standing relationships with other local care professionals.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are an established provider of specialist end of life care. St Peter & St James Hospice is a well-respected hospice facing increasing demand, largely due to a growing elderly population within our catchment area. Our community nursing team have long established relationships with local medical and social care providers, and extensive local knowledge, meaning they are well placed to co-ordinate the best possible care for their patients and their families.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ruth Nicholls

    Community nurse at the hospice for the last 7.5 years. Ruth has a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in nursing since 1982

    Gary Marshall

    Qualified since 1988, Gary has worked at the hospice for 10 years as a community nurse. His caseload means he helps 25-35 patients at any one time.

    Anne Jackson

    Head of Nursing & Clinical Care with 24 years cancer care, 3 years in hospice end of life care. Co-ordinates community team and monitors caseloads.

    Barbara Williams

    Chief Executive for the past year, with 20 years in voluntary sector. Strategic thinker and very pro allowing people to stay at home where possible.

I never had to ask for anything, and that’s mainly because I didn’t know what to ask for. Sam knew what our needs would be, and she organised everything. The care we received was outstanding - without her, we would have fallen apart. She is a very special person.

Ted Prince - carer for wife, Haywards Heath