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Ashgate Hospice > Glossary

Our care

Advance care planning – the process of discussing and recording your preferences for future care while you are still able to make those decisions.

Bereavement – the experience of grief or loss before or following the death of someone significant.

Capacity – the ability to make decisions about an issue at the time the decision needs to be made.

Complex needs – complicated physical and emotional needs that require specialist knowledge, management and skills.

DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) – a DNACPR decision is made by you and a healthcare professional involved in your care. This means if your heart or breathing stops, your healthcare team will not try to restart it. This decision is usually made so that you do not receive a treatment that may prolong or cause suffering at the end of your life. Find out more about DNACPR on the NHS website.

End of life – the final phases of a life-limiting illness leading to your death.

End of life care – “Care that helps all those with advanced, progressive, incurable illness to live as well as possible until they die. It enables the supportive and palliative care needs of both patients and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It includes management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social, spiritual and practical support.” (National Council for Palliative Care)

Holistic care – supporting your psychological, social, spiritual and practical needs, as well as your physical or medical needs. It is called holistic because it treats you as a whole person, not just your illness or symptoms.

Inpatient Unit – a bedded ward at the main hospice where you can receive round-the-clock specialist support and pain management. Find out more about our Inpatient Unit.

Lasting Power of Attorney – a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you can no longer make your own decisions (GOV.UK).

Life-limiting illness – a condition that cannot be cured and shortens your life, such as heart failure, lung disease, neurological conditions and cancer.

Lymphoedema – a swelling that can affect any part of the body. It is caused by a build up of lymph fluid. This happens when part of the lymphatic system is damaged, for example, after an accident or from cancer treatments. Lymphoedema can also be caused by obesity, can develop from a pre-existing condition or you can be born with it. There is no cure for lymphoedema. But with treatment, you can improve and control the condition. Find out how we can treat lymphoedema.

Multidisciplinary team – a team of professionals, with backgrounds in different disciplines, who work together to care for you and your loved ones.

Palliative care – care that focuses on relieving the symptoms of a life-limiting illness to make you more comfortable. It takes into account your emotional, physical and spiritual needs and goals. The aim of palliative care is to ensure that you have the best quality of life possible.

Referral – when a healthcare professional involved in your care gets in touch with the hospice so that you can access our services or visa versa.

Reflection Room – a room based at the main hospice where we lead meditations and acts of worship for patients, visitors, volunteers, and staff. Many people find it to be an oasis of peace and use it to reflect, to pray or simply to be still. The Reflection Room is always open and is for people of all faiths or people with no faith.

ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) – “The ReSPECT process creates a personalised recommendation for your clinical care in emergency situations where you are not able to make decisions or express your wishes.” (Resuscitation Council UK). Find out more about ReSPECT on the Resuscitation Council UK’s website.

Supportive care – a service we provide for patients and loved ones that includes counselling and creative therapies, spiritual care, complementary therapy and social work. Find out more about our supportive care services.

Symptom management – relieving symptoms caused by a life-limiting illness, such as pain, sickness and discomfort.

Syringe driver – a device used to give medication over a period of time, such as 24 hours, to enable you to feel more comfortable and help manage your symptoms.


Light up a Life – a fundraising initiative throughout winter for which donations can be made in memory of a loved one.

Treecycle – a fundraising initiative held in January that involves collecting and recycling Christmas trees in return for a donation.

Trustee – a member of our Board of Trustees who volunteers their time and expertise to shape the strategic direction of the hospice.