Care at home from Weldmar Community Nurses
Your first contact with Weldmar Hospicecare is most likely to be with your local Weldmar Community Nurse, once you have been referred from your GP or healthcare professional.
They will visit you at home to discuss your needs and the best way forward – the care we provide is as individual as you.
We have Weldmar Community Nurses and Community Nurse Specialists working across Dorset, with close links to GPs, district nurses, and community hospitals. All of our nurses are experienced in the complex symptoms and problems that life limiting illness and its treatment can bring.
They are here to support patients and families, and are happy to discuss any anxieties you may have regarding your illness, offer advice on how to best manage your symptoms, and do what they can to make you feel comfortable.
Our team will visit people at home, in nursing homes, residential homes and the community hospitals.
The community nurse team are constantly liaising with the consultants and other specialist areas in Weldmar, so for example they can arrange a visit from a specialty doctor or a physiotherapist.
"Some of my patients may feel very isolated with a life limiting illness, especially if they live alone. The local area can be quite remote, so ensuring they have that additional help when they need it is important." Lorna Hallett, Weldmar Community Nurse for Wool
Will I have to go to the hospice for my last days?
If you are being seen by one of our Weldmar Community Nurse Specialists, they will be able to have conversations with you about where you wish to be cared for towards the end of life. The majority of people choose to stay at home with their family. If this is your choice, then your Weldmar Nurse will help to coordinate this with our Weldmar at Home team to ensure that your needs are met, and help you to remain comfortably at home.
Can I refer myself and ask for a visit from one of your nurses?
If you feel this would be appropriate, you would need to talk to either your GP or health care professional involved in your care. If they feel that you meet the criteria for a referral to us, then they can complete a referral form for you. We are not able to accept a self referral.
Why do I feel ‘abandoned’ by the hospital when they stopped seeing me and referred me to Weldmar
Sometimes its hard to accept that there is ‘no more hospital treatment’. However a referral to a Weldmar Community Nurse Specialist will give you chance to address some of these feelings. Their role is about helping you to continue to live life in the best way possible and focus on a good quality of life and what that means to you. By addressing some of the difficult symptoms you may experience and the anxious thoughts that you may have, they can help you to do this.
Do you work with my oncologist?
If you are still being seen by your oncologist, then our nurses do liaise with both them and your hospital clinical nurse specialist, if there are any concerns that they feel they need to be aware of, or symptoms that would best be addressed by a further hospital review or intervention.
How often will I be seen at home by my Weldmar Community Nurse?
Everyone’s needs are different. Following each consultation, your Weldmar Community Nurse will agree with you the date and time of the next visit. This will be dependent on any difficulties or issues you are facing at that time. Whilst they will visit you at home, sometimes interim assessments are carried out by telephone or Skype consultations.
Do you use ‘Macmillan nurses’?
Macmillan is a very separate charity to Weldmar, and do not have community specialist palliative care nurses working in West Dorset. Our Weldmar nurses are equally as highly trained in specialist palliative care and work in a very similar way. Their role will be to visit you at home and offer expert symptom management relating to your illness. They will be able to support both you and your family through this very difficult time, talk to you about any fears and worries you have for the future and if you wish, help you to plan ahead.
I thought a hospice was about dying. Weldmar has helped me to make the most of the life I have left. So instead of focusing on the end, they focus on the here and now, and they do that in lots and lots of ways. I am so glad that Weldmar is part of my life.Find out what a difference Tess's Weldmar Community Nurse has made to her
24 Hour Advice Line
As a patient or a loved one in the care of Weldmar Hospicecare, you can be assured that help and advice is always there for you.
All patients will have the number for our 24 hour advice line in their information pack, which they or a family member can call if needed.
Even if you don’t speak to your usual Weldmar Community Nurse or Community Nurse Specialist, the nurse you speak to on the phone will have access to your notes and can provide the help and support you need.
Weldmar Connect is a new interactive telehealth app that allows our Weldmar Community Nurse team to monitor patient symptoms at home, and was the first app of its kind when we launched it in 2020.
The app enables a patient to use their own smartphone, tablet, or computer to complete a short daily questionnaire about symptoms such as pain, nausea and anxiety, as well as information about their mobility and dependence on others. When symptoms are rated as severe, additional questions and guidance will appear for the patient. For any patient without internet access, the questionnaire can be completed via a daily automated phone call.
The app also includes useful information for patients such as emergency contact numbers, including the Weldmar 24 Hour Advice Line, and breathing exercises.
“When the time came, Siobhan was absolutely phenomenal. I was at my wit’s end, but she just came in and took over.
We’d been told we couldn’t have a hospital bed at home, which is where Karen wanted to stay, but Siobhan organised one that day, as well as nurses to come in three times a day.
Siobhan continued to come and see us every day, and I also realised that the support was there for me, as well as Karen.”Read John's Story here