CNS Frequently Asked Questions
What is palliative care?
The aim of palliative care is to achieve the best quality of life for patients and their families by managing difficulties and providing support. Palliative care is provided by many health care professionals, in hospital and at home.
What does Trinity Hospice do?
We aim to look after the person and not just the illness. Trinity provides specialist palliative care for adults who have progressive life limiting illness and have complex needs because of that illness. These needs can be many and varied and may involve physical symptoms, emotional concerns, social issues or spiritual needs.
What is a Trinity Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)?
Trinity CNS nurses are highly qualified registered nurses who have completed additional training to become specialist practitioners. Team members have chosen palliative care as their specialist area.
What is the Trinity CNS Team?
The Trinity CNS team consists of 12 specialist nurses. There are eight Trinity CNS nurses who visit patients in the community and four who care for them in Blackpool Victoria hospital and local community hospitals. There is a team leader who has additional managerial responsibilities, but also sees patients. All team members work closely together and aim to provide a seamless service for patients and families accessing specialist palliative care.
How does a Trinity CNS become involved in a person’s care?
A referral is made to the Trinity CNS by a hospital consultant, GP, other nurse specialist or matron, who may ask the Trinity CNS to become involved in the management of a person’s care.
What can a Trinity CNS do to help?
Help your doctors and nurses manage any symptoms you may have such as pain, sickness or breathlessness, to provide relief and enhance your quality of life.
Give support to you and your family at a difficult time by listening and helping you to understand what is happening and also guide you to the services that may help you.
Work with your doctors and nurses to ensure you have enough information about your illness in order for you to make decisions about your future.
Refer you to other services for support if needed, for example, social services, community nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, benefits advice or additional Trinity services.
Will the Trinity CNS take over my care?
No – our aim is to provide specialist knowledge, information and support whilst working alongside others involved in your care. The hospital doctors and nurses continue to be your main care providers whilst you are in hospital. Your GP and District Nursing team remain the main care providers for you at home. They make most of the decisions about your care and how best to help you.
How do I contact my Trinity CNS?
Messages can be left for your Trinity CNS from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday by phoning 01253 359379.
We will do our best to return your call on the same day, but this may not always be possible. Outside these hours a member of hospice staff will be available to give general advice if required. If you feel you need urgent help at any time please contact your own doctor.
What other help can Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services offer?
The Trinity family of services includes:
The Day Therapy Unit
The In-Patient Unit
Brian House Children’s Hospice
The Linden Centre – Support/counselling for grief and loss
Learning and Research Centre
Some people refer to the Trinity CNS as a Macmillan Nurse. Is this the same thing?
No. Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services and Macmillan Cancer Support are two separate charitable organisations which are not connected.
The Trinity or Macmillan Nurse title relates to the organisation which employs the nurse. Clinical Nurse Specialists in Palliative Care in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde work for and are paid by Trinity Hospice, hence the name Trinity CNS. However, both Trinity CNS and Macmillan Nurses provide the same type of care to patients and families.
Will the Trinity CNS remain involved in my care?
Your Trinity CNS will remain involved in your care whilst specialist help and support is required. Once your problems have improved we will discharge you back to your own doctor, district nurse and/or hospital consultant. However, your health care team may ask us to become involved again in future if specialist support is required.