The Dorothy House referral process is straightforward. This section sets out the criteria and process steps we follow in order to refer patients, both palliative and non-palliative, as well as carers.

Any professional or patient can make a referral to Dorothy House.

Our services are for anyone over the age of 18 (and their family or carer) with an active, progressive and advanced disease which is life-limiting.

The following list is not exhaustive but includes some reasons a person is referred to Dorothy House for support:
  • Holistic assessment and multi-professional management of complex symptoms
  • Symptoms may be physical, psychological and/or spiritual
  • Support with Advance Care Planning (ACP) when preparing for the future due to the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition
  • Support and information for patients and their carers
  • Hospice at Home care
Patients admitted to the Inpatient Unit usually have the need for:
  • Assessment and multi-professional management of complex, often unstable, symptoms, both physical and psychological
  • Psycho-social support including complex support needs where a situation at home has become untenable but can be improved/managed
  • Palliative rehabilitation
  • Respite care – both planned and acute
  • Terminal care (within the last 1-2 weeks of life)

Contact our Clinical Coordination Centre if you would like to discuss whether a patient or carer/relative meets our criteria or if you are a healthcare professional who would like support in caring for a patient with advanced illness or facing the end of life.

If you would like to discuss the referral process further, please ring:

Clinical Coordination Centre
0345 0130 555
Monday-Friday 8am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm

When a referral is received it is triaged by the Registered Nurses in our Clinical Coordination Centre. After triage, each referral is given a priority classification to determine how quickly a person will be seen by one of our teams. The following are guidelines and the timescale is often quicker, but never delayed:

  • Urgent = 1-2 days
  • Soon = within 7 days
  • Routine = within 14 days

If you feel our services could be right for you, you are welcome to call our Clinical Coordination Centre to discuss a self-referral.

Clinical Coordination Centre – 0345 0130 555

GP or healthcare professional referral - by SystmOne

Any organisation involved in a patient’s care that uses TPP’s SystmOne can send a referral to Dorothy House directly through SystmOne. Referrals can be made quickly and easily using a data entry template.

To send an electronic SystmOne referral you must have:

  • The patient’s consent to share out their SystmOne information
  • The patient’s consent for Dorothy House to have access to their SystmOne information

1. Setup (one-off process) – this needs to be completed by your system administrator

  • Add the data entry template to the clinical tree (download further instructions for this, below)
  • Ensure you have the ‘Prompt to record the receiving organisation’s share in preference when sending an electronic referral’ ticked in organisational preferences (ie Clinical policy – Sharing (enhanced))

2. Making a referral

  • Complete the data entry template as appropriate (download further instructions for this, below)
  • It is important to click the ‘Refer to Dorothy House Hospice Care’ button on page 3 to send the referral

If you have any queries, please contact the Dorothy House Informatics Team on 01225 721 486.

GP or healthcare professional referral - by email or phone

Any professional involved in the care of a patient or carer can refer to our services.

To make a referral by:

  • Email: send en electronic copy via NHS net (preferred option if not a SystmOne user) using the form below
  • Phone: our Clinical Coordination Centre 0345 0130 555

Please attach recent letters, scan and blood test results and any other relevant information, so that we can assess and prescribe treatment and care appropriately. Failing to do so may delay the processing of the referral.

Links & Downloads

Non-Palliative Lymphoedema referral

The following information is for non-palliative Lymphoedema patients.  If you require Lymphoedema services for a patient who is palliative, they should be referred direct to Dorothy House by using the referral process outlined above.

Non-palliative Lymphoedema referrals can be made by GPs or Allied Health Care Professionals, in consultation with the patient’s GP. All patients must be in agreement with the referral and self-referrals are not accepted for this service.

Make a referral:

Referrals will be accepted only following completion of the correct referral form along with a recent patient medical summary and any appropriate recent letters, scans and blood test results. Any incomplete referral forms will be returned for further information and no action will be taken by the Lymphoedema Service until this is satisfactorily completed.

For patients registered with a Wiltshire CCG GP:

Dorothy House no longer offers this service. The provider is:
Wiltshire Health and Care
Tissue Viability and Lymphoedema Service
To refer, email:

For patients registered with a Somerset CCG GP (East & Central Mendip only):

GPs who have a non-palliative patient in the East and Central Mendip area, please download the referral form below for the acceptance criteria.

Sharing consent

If a patient decides to take up any offer of our support, for administrative and professional practice purposes, we need to record and store a certain amount of personal information about them on this database. This will include their name, address, date of birth, GP and consultations with professionals. We’re a multi-disciplinary team so all staff involved in their care need to have access to their records in order to provide coordinated and appropriate care and support.

If a patient is receiving support from us and if any of their healthcare professionals (ie a district nurse, GP surgery, or other health and social care staff) also use SystmOne as their clinical database system, we encourage full sharing of clinical information.

Sharing benefits

A patient’s records can be shared safely and efficiently between the different organisations when consent has been given to use SystmOne.

Sharing your patient record enables:

  • Prompt access to relevant information leading to fewer delays in the provision of care
  • Information to be up-to-date and consistent
  • Improved communication between the healthcare professionals involved in providing care
  • Greater accuracy with a reduced risk of critical information, such as allergies, being missed
  • More efficient use of clinical and administrative time with less duplication

Depending on what a patient has agreed, there are two ways in which their information can be shared:

Sharing IN = This controls whether information made shareable can be viewed by Dorothy House/RUH SPCT

Sharing OUT = This controls whether information recorded by Dorothy House/RUH SPCT can be shared with other services using SystmOne

It is your decision as to who can see what information.