Hospices provide care to improve the lives of people whose illnesses may not be curable.  A quarter of a million patients are cared for by hospices in the UK each year, either in a hospice or their own home.

Palliative Care - the name given to the type of care provided by hospices - is not just about a person's physical needs but their emotional, spiritual and social needs too.  Services will vary between hospices, but are likely to include medical and nursing care, pain and symptom control, rehabilitation, therapies, spiritual support, practical and financial advice and bereavement care.  Whilst a hospice does not offer the same range of treatments as a hospital, it offers a level of care a hospital cannot.  Hospice care is open to everyone, and people may be referred (usually by their GP or a hospital doctor) either for a short stay, or for an indeterminate time.