Going the extra mile for our patients

  • 27 September, 2022
  • News

Dorothy House is here for everyone with a life-limiting illness. Whether at home, or in our Inpatient Unit in Winsley, our focus is on quality of life, helping patients to live well and die well.

Personalising our palliative care and supporting our patients to die with dignity and in peace, surrounded by their loved ones is what motivates our staff to go the extra mile.

Sometimes these stories are too inspiring not to share.

Personalising Neil’s care

Neil came to stay with us at our beautiful Winsley Inpatient Unit (IPU) in the last weeks of his life. After a routine hernia operation identified untreatable bowel cancer, Neil quickly deteriorated and needed the care and support of our specialist nursing team.

Lou Barnett, registered nurse on IPU, got to know Neil in his final days and discovered Neil’s passion for road bike racing.

Personalising palliative care

Neil racing his KTMRC8 bike

“Identifying what each patient loves and finding out how we can make a bad situation good is what fires me up. We knew that Neil didn’t have long and after a discussion at our weekly Multi-Disciplinary Meeting, I knew that we had to act quickly.”

With the help of Neil’s ex-wife Sacha, Lou got in touch with Neil’s biking friends and arranged for them to drive Neil’s favourite bike to Dorothy House.

Neil’s friend, Geoff, arrived the next day and drove Neil’s pride and joy up onto his bedside patio. With the sun on his face and the sound of his KTMRC8 race bike’s engine revving, Neil was visibly moved. He spent the next few hours sharing his biking adventures surrounded by his loved ones and fellow patients.

“On that day, I witnessed a deep connection between two of our patients. Hearing the revving of Neil’s bike, a neighbouring patient came out to share in Neil’s pride for his biking career. Both men knew they only had a short time left to live, but were both united in a mutual respect for that moment; celebrating life, they connected.”

Hospice care

Lou Barnett, registered nurse with Neil

A legacy for loved ones

As much as patient care is at the heart of what we do at Dorothy House, compassion for our patient’s friends and families is just as vital.

Coordinating and capturing Neil’s happy day with photos has brought solace to Sacha, Neil’s ex-wife.

“Dorothy House made an unbearable situation bearable. It was so emotional and a very special moment to see Neil say goodbye to his bike; which was his life.”

Being able to act quickly to organise personal reunions, arrange experiences, simply play favourite music or provide complementary therapies, are all ways in which our Dorothy House nurses and volunteers can bring life to the last days for our patients and their loved ones, whether they are in Winsley or supported by our 10 local care teams.

Being led by our patients and their families, we can provide free personalised palliative support and hospice care at home, in the community or at our Inpatient Unit at Winsley to anyone with a life-limiting illness.

What Dorothy House offers

We offer a wide range of services, therapies and treatments to help patients, their carers and families. Our support is free of charge and we’re available day and night to ensure that everyone has the right care, at the right time.

Our staff and volunteers are here to add life to days and dignity to the last of them.

But our support doesn’t end there, we also offer a wide variety of bereavement support to those left behind. You can find your nearest group here.

How do I make a referral?

The Dorothy House referral process is straightforward. We support any adult (18+) in the Dorothy House area with a progressive, treatable but not curable life-limiting illness or with severe frailty, and also their family (including children) and carers. Our services provide physical, psychological and/or spiritual support.

Referring someone to Dorothy House can be made by a:

  • Health and Social Care Professional
  • Person with a life-limiting illness (self-referral)
  • Friend / family member of a person with a life-limiting illness

By Phone to Dorothy House’s Clinical Coordination Centre / Advice Line (24/7)
0345 0130 555

By Digital Referral Form


Online: through SystmOne for health and social care professionals
Any organisation involved in a patient’s care that uses TPP’s SystmOne can send a referral directly to Dorothy House through SystmOne.

If you have any queries about this, please phone the DH Clinical Coordination Centre on 0345 0130 555.