Patient & Family Support Team

Offering practical and emotional support to patients, relatives and friends, including psychological support, social support, spiritual care, counselling and bereavement support.  

Group of people receiving support in lounge area

Psychological support

Our psychological support service provides psychological assessment and treatment for adults over the age of 18 who are living with an advanced serious illness or life-limiting illness and their closest family or friends

We work with those being cared for by our Inpatient UnitCommunity Team and Day Therapy service, and their family and loved ones, usually offering sessions once per fortnight for six sessions.

Social support 

The Hospice’s social worker provides social support and practical information to patients and families.  Their support to patients and families being cared for on our Inpatient Unit or through our Community Team may include discharge planning, benefit advice, advice on financial and housing support, as well as emotional support at times of stress and change.

Spiritual support 

Spirituality can be seen to be the heart of who we are; whilst some people put this into a religious framework, for many others it is less defined, although no less important.  Our chaplain and a team of volunteers are available to all patients, their relatives and loved ones – whether they are of faith or not – to help explore the ‘difficult questions’.  We will listen and help where we can. 

There is a Chaplain on-call 24/7 for inpatients, and they and their visitors can also access our Sanctuary – a peaceful space at the Hospice for those all different faiths or no faith.  We will also facilitate acts of worship or rites as required.  If appropriate to your care and situation, we can encourage people from your own faith group to visit, enabling you to still feel part of your community if this is something that is important to you.  

Although the team has been based primarily at the Hospice, we can visit Arthur Rank Hospice patients in the community; something which is still possible during lock-down if required and if protocols allow.  

The impact of COVID-19 

In response to the latest government guidance on the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to change the way we deliver our services. 

The Patient and Family Support Team is currently unable to take part in any face to face meetings with patients and families, except with some inpatients where social distancing rules are observed.

All other meetings are taking place by phone or video call for the time being.  Whilst not ideal for many, this approach means that we can continue to providsupport in these difficult circumstances.  

You have helped me to address, and to recognise, various thoughts, ideas and feelings, and issues.  You have helped me to move onward in the 'now' and what lies ahead in this grief.

January 2020


What should I expect at appointments with the psychology service?

Your first meeting with the team will be an assessment appointment of up to an hour with a clinical psychologist.  We will discuss your needs and ask questions about you and your history to help us work out how we can help you best and whether this is the best place for your to be supported.  You can ask us questions too.    

These appointments can uncover difficult feelings which you may not have felt able to express with family and friends. They offer a safe space in which to explore some of these feelings and balance them with more positive aspects of your life. The process can be tiring so it may be helpful to plan your time after the sessions accordingly. 

For some people the first assessment session is enough. For others it may be helpful to meet again. We discuss this with you during the appointment.   

If for any reason you cannot attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by calling the Patient and Family Support team office on 01223 675770 and leave a message giving your name, telephone number, time of appointment and name of the person you were expecting to see.  

We will contact you as soon as we can to reschedule the appointment.  

Psychological Support Service

Our Patient and Family Support team offers support to patients over the age of 18 with a confirmed palliative diagnosis and whom are being cared for by our Inpatient Unit, Community Teamand Day Therapy Services, and their family members. 

The patient must have a GP in the East Cambridgeshire or South Cambridgeshire area (including Cambridge City). Referrals may come to us from one of these services. Please note that referral forms should not be emailed: please print off, fill out and post to us. 

Spiritual Support and Social Support Services 

All referrals for these services come from our colleagues in the Inpatient Unit, the Community Team and the Day Therapy service. If you would like to speak to the Chaplain, access spiritual support or our social worker, please speak to the nurse or doctor who is providing your care.  

For further information, please call the team on 01223 675770.

Thanks to the dedication, commitment and generosity of the local community and the hard work of our senior leadership team to secure vital contracts with the NHS, all our services are free of charge.      

It will cost £8.66 millionthis financial year to operate our services. £4.98 million (54%) has been budgeted from our contracts with the NHS and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

A further £3.98 million(46%) needs to be raised through donations, fundraising activities and trading.   

Keith Morrison, Chaplain

Keith Morrison, Patient & Family Support Team Lead

Keith leads the Patient and Family Support Team. As our Chaplain he provides spiritual support, and links with religious leaders in the local community, so that people of all faiths and no faith can be well-supported.  His team includes a social worker, clinical psychologists, and chaplaincy and bereavement volunteers.