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Hospice app helps build nurse-patient relationship

Oldest hospice in England develops app for smartphones and tablets.
Royal Trinity Hospice app

The oldest hospice in England has shown a modern-day sensibility by developing an app for smartphones and tablets.

Staff at Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, London, have helped create the resource, which supports patients and carers when navigating the often complex world of palliative care.

The hospice helps more than 1,500 patients and their families each year, with most people supported in their own homes by specialist palliative care nurses, who work closely with district nurses, GPs and other healthcare professionals.

Lack of clarity

The app was developed after many patients and carers expressed difficulty in understanding the full range of support available and how to access it, particularly in the days and weeks after a terminal diagnosis.

The free Royal Trinity Hospice app is available to download on iPhones

The oldest hospice in England has shown a modern-day sensibility by developing an app for smartphones and tablets.


Picture: iStock

Staff at Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, London, have helped create the resource, which supports patients and carers when navigating the often complex world of palliative care.

The hospice helps more than 1,500 patients and their families each year, with most people supported in their own homes by specialist palliative care nurses, who work closely with district nurses, GPs and other healthcare professionals.

Lack of clarity

The app was developed after many patients and carers expressed difficulty in understanding the full range of support available and how to access it, particularly in the days and weeks after a terminal diagnosis.

The free Royal Trinity Hospice app is available to download on iPhones and iPads. An Android version is being developed.

Nurse and head of community services at the hospice Helen Brewerton said: 'The app has everything you want to know about the hospice, but never dared ask.'

Useful resource

It provides tailored information on subjects such as managing symptoms and medications, and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Patients and carers can also use the resource to book a place at outpatient groups run at the hospice. The app allows people to contact key hospice teams directly, including nurses, and there are details on advanced care planning for patients, as well as dedicated bereavement content for friends and family.

Information overload

Ms Brewerton said: 'When we community palliative care nurses initially meet patients, we are attempting to gather lots of information from them and give lots of information to them.'

Given the patients' state of health and the amount of information given, things could be forgotten, difficult to understand or left unsaid, she added.

She said having the app meant the focus is now on 'establishing a rapport and identifying and addressing the patients’ key concerns'.


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