Placing people at the centre of Hospice care

Hospice care provides vital, person-centred care and support for all those affected by life-limiting and progressive illness, throughout illness and into bereavement. Specialist health care professionals will aim to maximise comfort and maintain dignity and quality of life for patients from diagnosis, with services provided at home, within the Rowans Hospice and through the Rowans Living Well Services.

Rowans Hospice Services

Many may think of a Hospice as just a place to die, however at Rowans Hospice we focus on maintaining quality of life by relieving symptoms associated with a life-limiting or life-shortening illness. Hospice care recognises the whole person and addresses symptoms manifesting across physical, emotional, social and spiritual domains. Care for Family, friends and informal carers is part of the ‘holistic’ model of care.

We work from the premise: “What matters to me”, placing people at the centre of Hospice care. Well-being and safety are at the forefront of our minds and will be our focus of attention for everyone seeking care and support, whether this is at home or in Rowans Hospice.

In-patient care is provided within Rowans Hospice, situated in Purbrook, Waterlooville, with 19 en-suite bedrooms where specialist nursing and clinical staff are available to maintain your quality of life. Admissions are usually for a relatively short period to alleviate symptoms, plan your future care needs and when needed offer care in dying. Planning your future care needs, alongside many other therapeutic activities and support programmes, are also available through the Rowans Living Well Services. Hospice care at home is also provided to support those who wish to be cared for and to ultimately die within their own home.

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How we fund Rowans Hospice care

Hospice care is provided at no cost to you or your family, which is why support from the local community through volunteering donations and gifts in Wills is vital to sustain provision and accessibility of our services.

We ask no contribution from those who need our care services. However if you choose to support Rowans Hospice you can donate, fundraise, visit our shops or help by simply spreading the word. Please visit our relevant pages or social media profiles.

To see the full list of ways in which you can help, visit our support us page.

Find out more about the wide range of care we provide, from diagnosis, to end-of-life and bereavement support, below:

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Our Services and what’s included...

Hospice At Home

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Wherever possible, we believe in giving people control over the care and treatment they receive, including where they would like to be cared for. To this end we offer a Hospice at Home service for those who would prefer to receive Hospice care within the comfort of their own home, surrounded by family, friends and often beloved pets.

Hospice Care at Home is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a combination of planned and responsive visits. This provides nursing care that is at the same level to that experienced by patients who are admitted to Rowans Hospice in-patient unit.

Referral to Hospice at Home can be made by any Health/Social Care professional following consent of the patient and family. In some areas of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire this ‘at home’ care provision is also available from other service providers.

Living Well Services

Vernon Nash Rowans Web 01 053The Rowans Living Well Centre is located next door to the main Hospice building. The Living Well Services are available to people in Portsmouth and South-East Hampshire who are living with a life-limiting and progressive illness, as well as their families and friends; this includes carers. Services include one to one and group support with over 35 programmed therapeutic activities every week. Activities include creative writing, cookery, gardening, support groups and complementary therapies.

You do not require a referral to use the Living Well Services, however we do recommend you telephone to arrange an appointment.

To see the full list of services, visit our Living Well Services page.

Community Care

Hospice care is an integrated service which works closely and in partnership with local NHS services within the community, in hospital and in residential and nursing care homes. When specialist end of life care is needed, we will work in partnership with your GP or District Nurses to provide support and clinical expertise.

The Community NHS Specialist Palliative Care teams have wide-ranging expertise to help with the medical, practical and psychological effects of living with a life-limiting illness, and also offer emotional and practical support to the whole family. This team includes:

  • doctors
  • clinical nurse specialists (CNS)
  • clinical psychologists
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • access to social workers specialising in end of life care and family support
  • links to specialists such as pain management services and speech and language therapy

Your first contact with Rowans Hospice is often through a visit from one of the NHS team.
We also work closely with Portsmouth Hospital University Trust and aim to ensure that patients move between hospital and Hospice as smoothly as possible.

Specialist In-Patient Unit

Vernon Nash Rowans Web 02 016The In-Patient Unit provides compassionate, expert Hospice care for people living with a life-limiting and progressive illness. The care is delivered by specialist palliative care doctors, nurses and other clinical professionals in a relaxed and homely setting. The aim is to enhance quality of life and do all that may be possible to provide a ‘good’ natural death. Admissions are for short periods of time and much emphasis is placed on advance care planning and where possible helping people to return to their own home as is often their choice and preference.

We treat each person as a unique individual and provide a holistic model of Hospice care, that addresses physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs. Care also extends to friends and family members throughout illness and into bereavement.

Initial assessment within the IPU

Upon arrival or before admission, a patient is assessed by a doctor and a nurse to identify their care needs and ‘What matters to them”. During the patient’s stay, every patient’s care will be allocated to one team of nurses to ensure continuity of care and enable the patient and their family to become familiar with a smaller number of staff.

Your stay at the Rowans Hospice

Many people incorrectly view the In-Patient Unit as somewhere where people just go to die. While some of our patients do spend their final days on the Unit, we also offer pain relief and symptom management to maintain and where possible improve their quality of life.

Patients may also stay with us for rehabilitation or acute carer relief. Please see our document on how to plan for your stay with us.

The Setting

At Rowans Hospice, patients can rest in a comfortable setting with the security of having specialists caring for them. Each patient has their own room with en-suite facilities. Tranquil gardens and courtyards surround the building while seating areas and the cafe provide places where people can meet others and enjoy time in an informal setting.


A referral to the In-Patient Unit must be made by a Healthcare Professional. The referral might come from your GP, Hospital Consultant, District Nurse or any other professional involved in your care; and one of our team will generally visit to make an assessment, explain what is available to you; you can then agree on appropriate goals for you and your family to achieve from the stay. For Healthcare Professionals seeking further information and guidance on making referrals, you can find our guidelines and procedures in the Professionals section of the website.

Psychology and Bereavement

Paul Beadon, Shelagh Hemming 0793, 0798Living with a life-limiting illness, or coping with grief, can be overwhelming.

As part of Hospice care, we provide professional psychological support to all patients and families if needed. Bereavement support is offered to family members, friends and carers of patients who have been referred to both Rowans Hospice services and NHS Community Palliative Care Services.

There is a team of Clinical Psychologists, Psychotherapists, and Counsellors based at the Hospice who are highly skilled and compassionate professionals who will listen to you and give you a safe place to talk openly about your thoughts and feelings.

To be referred, an initial assessment and support are provided through the Rowans Living Well Services.

For those up to the age of 18 the Meerkat service, provides therapeutic support to children when they are bereaved or have a family member receiving care through the Hospice. Sometimes it can be difficult for family members to provide this support to children and young people and especially if they are grieving too. This service provides an outlet where children can talk about their feelings and provide advice and information to families as to how best to support children and young adults.

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Additional Services we provide support for...

Social Work

IMG 1658Our Social Work team based at the Hospice offer advice, support and resources to help patients manage their care and maintain their independence.  They work closely with other teams in the Hospice and those in the wider community to provide a wide range of practical and emotional support.

Social Workers can also help with :

  • Planning patient discharge from the In-Patient Unit
  • Visits at the Hospice or in the home to discuss care needs
  • Carer support
  • Financial and/or benefits advice
  • Liaising with Local Authority Social Services Department
  • Signposting to other services or agencies.

Vernon Nash Rowans Web 01 042Physiotherapy can help people living with a life-limiting illness to maintain independence when there is a change in their physical condition.

Physiotherapy can help to address:

  • symptoms of pain
  • symptoms of fatigue and breathlessness
  • problems of muscle strength, mobility, balance and co-ordination

Our physiotherapists work with people on the In-Patient Unit as well as those in the Living Well Services.

Occupational Therapy

IMG 2163Occupational Therapy focuses on a person’s daily activity and how this may be affected when living with a life-limiting condition. A person may experience changes in their mood, sleep, energy, stress levels and their ability to engage in activities of daily living that are important to them. An Occupational Therapist can help to identify and understand everyday changes, offering practical strategies or a new approach to manage this.

Occupational Therapy services can be accessed through the Hospice or in the community through specialist palliative care services.

Complementary Therapy

IMG 0486Complementary therapies are used alongside medical treatments to create a calming and healing environment for patients and families. All our practitioners are professionally qualified and work on a voluntary basis.

Some of the therapies available include massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and Osteopathy.

Complementary therapies are available through our Living Well Services.

Spiritual Care

Carol Gully Cropped

Sometimes questions and doubts arise and it can be helpful to share and explore these with someone.

Our Spiritual Care Chaplain, Carol Gully, and her team of Spiritual Care volunteers are here to listen, to offer support, or just be alongside someone as they explore their thoughts and feelings.

To contact Carol email:

Hospice Companions

Rowans Hospice has a team of carefully selected volunteers who provide companionship and practical support to people with a life-limiting and progressive illness and their carers.

Once referred, a member of staff or a trained volunteer will visit to assess your needs and determine how we can best support you.

We then try to match your needs with a suitable volunteer. The volunteer will visit you at home, on average for an hour or two each week. This arrangement will be reviewed at intervals to make sure it is meeting your needs.

How can Hospice Companions Help?
From our experience, we know that people with a life-limiting illness can benefit from having practical and emotional support at home – particularly following discharge from hospital or hospice.

Our Hospice Companions can support you with:

  • Shopping
  • Companionship
  • Dog walking
  • Light housework
  • Ironing
  • Trips out
  • Support with hospital appointments
  • Recreational activities

How can I be referred to the Hospice Companion Service?
You can be referred by a Health or Social Care Professional, or you can refer yourself via the Hospice Companions co-ordinator who can be contacted on 023 9224 8011 or

Myra and Trevor Abseil 2017

Myra’s Story

“One of the doctors came to speak to us on the first day and after he had finished discussing David and all of his care needs, he asked me how I was as he knew that I had been in hospital. At that point, I really felt that this was a place where people are special, everybody cares and they looked after both of us.”

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