Introducing a new way for Milton Keynes’ community to access expert palliative care launched by Willen Hospice

We are really proud to share with you, the launch of a new Palliative Care Community Hub at Willen Hospice. The new Hub provides an advice and support line, open 24 hours a day, giving palliative patients a single phone number to get all the help they need. Anyone who is receiving palliative care and is registered with a GP in Milton Keynes is eligible to call, and the service is also available for those patients’ carers, family and friends.

The service will support patients both on discharge from hospital and at home, and will enable our clinical teams to reach a larger number of patients earlier and identify those in crisis. This is a really positive addition to our services when you consider that Willen Hospice is the only provider of specialist palliative nursing out in the Milton Keynes community.

Staffed by an experienced, highly qualified Hospice team, the Hub will refer or signpost people to the Hospice’s services, which are entirely free of charge, or to other services they might need. The team will work closely with healthcare providers across the city, including GPs, the hospital, community nursing teams and paramedics.

Callers can receive practical help and support with any aspect of palliative care, such as ordering equipment, chasing prescriptions, crisis advice, emotional support and arranging for a palliative care co-ordinator to visit them at home if needed.

The new Hub was officially opened by the Mayoress of Milton Keynes, Mandy Legg, during national Hospice Care Week 2023 (9–15 October). MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, and Deputy Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire Tony Hughes were also in attendance, meeting the Hospice teams involved in running the new service. The Hub was set up with the support of the Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Clinical Commissioning Group, with funding to run for 12 months.

Our Willen at Home Lead Nurse, Amy Malburn, manages the Hub and has already seen its impact first-hand;

“We know from experience that when we can intervene earlier and support someone needing palliative care, we can improve their quality of life. Being involved at an earlier stage makes it much easier for us to identify when someone is in crisis,” said Amy. “Often our intervention can be as simple as listening to someone’s concerns and providing support. It can be really frustrating and distressing for a patient or carer to have to call numerous teams to resolve an issue, so the Hub will help to minimise this through a single point of contact.”

Jackie Young, our Associate Director of Nursing, added;

“We pride ourselves at Willen Hospice on being able to respond to the needs of our community and to new challenges that are emerging post-pandemic. This new way for our community to access expert help is of huge benefit to the city and opens the Hospice’s doors more widely to reach more people with our palliative and end-of-life care services. Patients are now living longer, through better care and access to treatment, so they often require more complex care relating to longer-term treatment, which is why the new Palliative Care Community Hub is so crucial.” 

To find out more about the Hub and the services we provide here.