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Frequently asked questions - Palliative and Hospice Care

Frequently asked questions around hospice and palliative care specific to Hummingbird House Children's Hospice and Hopewell Hospice. 

What is a hospice?

What is palliative care?

What is paediatric palliative care?

Who is eligible to stay at Hummingbird House? 

How does Hummingbird House accept referrals? 

How does Hopewell Hospice accept referrals? 




What is a hospice?

A hospice is a specifically designed facility and service where a community of dedicated palliative care professionals and carers provide support and care to people who have life-limiting conditions and their families. Services will typically include scheduled and emergency short break stays, care at the end of life, and family bereavement support.

What is palliative care?

Palliative Care at Hopewell Hospice is person and family-centred care provided to a person who does not have prospect of a medical cure and who has an active, progressive, advances disease and have made the decision along with their physicians and families to embrace the comfort and quality provided by end of life care.

We provide coordinated medical, nursing and allied services for people who are terminally ill. We cover the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support for residents and for residents’ families and friends. This includes grief and bereavement support for the family and other carers during the life of the resident and after the residents death.

What is paediatric palliative care? 

Hummingbird House embraces The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families (WHO; 1998a):

  • Palliative care for children is the active total care of the child’s body, mind and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family.
  • It begins when illness is diagnosed, and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease.
  • Health providers must evaluate and alleviate a child’s physical, psychological, and social distress.
  • Effective palliative care requires a broad multidisciplinary approach that includes the family and makes use of available community resources; it can be successfully implemented even if resources are limited.
  • It can be provided in tertiary care facilities, in community health centres and even in children’s homes.

Who is eligible to stay at Hummingbird House? 

As a children’s palliative care service, children who will be eligible to access Hummingbird House are living with a condition that can be described as follows:

  • Life-threatening conditions for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail.
  • Conditions where premature death is inevitable.
  • Progressive conditions without curative treatment options.

Irreversible but non-progressive conditions causing severe disability, leading to susceptibility to health complications and likelihood of premature death

How does Hummingbird House accept referrals?

Referrals are accepted from the Paediatric Palliative Care Service at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, or your child’s lead clinician.

After acceptance of your referral, Hummingbird House staff will contact you to arrange for us to carry out a Holistic Needs Assessment with you which will help us identify your individual needs and goals.

This assessment will guide us in working out how Hummingbird House can best support your family.

If you are interested in accessing Hummingbird House, please contact us on 07 3621 4336 or email info@hummingbirdhouse.wmq.org.au for further discussion.

How does Hopewell Hospice accept referrals? 

Hopewell Hospice welcomes residents who are living with an advanced, progressive illness where active curative treatment is no longer possible, and who are not able to stay in or return to their previous home.  Referrals can be made directly to the Hospice - by you, your carer or family, your doctor, specialist or other health professionals.

We may be able to support you and your family members by visiting you in your home.  Through our outreach service we can arrange for a nurse to visit you if you think that this might suit your needs better.

However if you feel that our Hospice is where you would like to receive holistic end of life care then we encourage you and your family to discuss your goals of care and needs with a member of our Family Support Team.

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