Updated 04 April 2017

The hospice and cancer patients

The hospice provides a three-tier service to cancer patients and their families.


The hospice provides a three-tier service to cancer patients and their families.

Counselling and support, home care services and admission to the hospice all form part of the services available from the hospice in your area.

The counselling service is available to both terminal patients and their families as well as bereaved families. There is also a regular network of meetings, where patients can get together for social contact and workshops. The home carers visit patients regularly to assist them.

Although the hospice is not a hospital service as such, they do have a number of beds available, that can be used for patients who need terminal care, whose symptoms need to be controlled or whose families need to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving duties, according to Hilary Brierly, referral secretary at St’Luke’s Hopsice in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Patients are usually admitted for a two-week period, after the sister from the hospice has done an assessment, in which it is determined which patients’ needs are paramount. There are limited beds available at most hospices.

The hospice is a non-profit organisation and patients and their families contribute what they can. Most major cities have a hospice service.

Read more:
Treatment of cancer
Explaining cancer to your child


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