Princess Alice Hospice (PAH) opened in 1986, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016. The Hospice is based 17 miles from central London, with a catchment area covering a population of around one million living in the South West outer quadrant of London and North Surrey, roughly a 10-mile radius around Esher. Approximately 3000 patients with advanced, life-threatening illnesses are referred to the Hospice yearly. The Hospice is charitably-funded; NHS funding accounts just over 20% of a total budget of more than £10 million, meaning more nearly 80% must be found from fundraising and retail sources. Of note, PAH runs 45 charity shops and we are reliant on our over 1,000 dedicated volunteers.
At the end of 2016, the Hospice was rated as Outstanding in all 5 domains by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) making us the first hospice to reach this standard. The CQC team commented on our focus on each person’s individual needs and the expressed view that staff went 'the extra mile' with empathy and compassion. The Hospice was noted to be responsive to the needs of people and their families, as well as open to the views and needs of staff.
The Inpatient Unit and Day Hospice were rebuilt in 2006. The Inpatient Unit has capacity for 24 patients, predominantly cared for in single rooms. Around 600 patients are admitted yearly. The average length of stay on the unit is about 12 days, over 30% of our patients are discharged and the occupancy is usually over 80%.
A large team of over 25 clinical nurse specialists supported by medical consultants, and the wider multi-professional team (MPT), provide clinical advice and support for patients and their families and carers under the Hospice at Home team. Approximately 900 patients are looked after in the community at any one time. The Hospice at Home service also involves overnight practical care, Rapid Response and an Enhanced Support Services (ESS). ESS is a focused MPT with additional medical input that aims to support complex patients in their own homes. The team consists of practical care nurses, clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and doctors.
The Day Hospice can take up to 20 patients a day, operating four days a week using rehabilitative, recreational and therapeutic techniques to allow patients to continue to live at home.
The emotional and social needs of patients and families are supported by the Patient and Family Support Team which includes the Bereavement Service and the Spiritual Care Team with a full-time Chaplain. Patients have access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, complementary therapy (massage, aromatherapy and reflexology), dietetics and speech and language therapy.
The medical staffing structure includes seven consultants, several working jointly at the Hospice and at local district general hospitals and one with a neighbouring hospice.