Patient & Family Care

The Palliative Care approach involves specialised medical care, psychosocial, spiritual and psychosocial support to the patient and their family. The focus is on the reduction of pain and symptoms of life-threatening and life-limiting illness to improve the quality of life for both the patient and family. Our Palliative Care team includes Palliative Care trained Nurses, Social Workers, Medical Doctors, Spiritual and Bereavement Counsellors, Complimentary Therapists and Volunteers. Palliative care further includes the prevention and relief of suffering through early identification and holistic assessment and treatment of pain and other physical and psychosocial issues. It is a team approach of working in collaboration with the patients’ medical doctor to provide a holistic service. Palliative care is appropriate at any age for patients facing challenges associated with life-threatening illness.

Palliative Care helps to:

  • Provide relief from the pain and symptoms of life-limiting illnesses
  • Enhance the quality of life for patients
  • Affirm life and regard dying as a normal process
  • Integrate the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care, regardless of the patient’s faith or belief system
  • Give support to patients’ families, including bereavement support and counselling
  • Palliative care can be appropriate for people with various types of life-limiting illnesses such as:
    • Cancer
    • End-stage incurable heart, lung, liver and kidney diseases
    • Neurological issues such as Motor Neurone Disease
    • HIV/AIDS

Geographical Map

We provide a service across the greater Cape Town Metropole.

Care at home

Community Nursing

.Most care from St Luke’s Combined Hospices is provided to patients in the comfort of their homes by an Interdisciplinary team consisting of Professional Nurses, Social Workers, Medical Doctors, Carers, Spiritual and Bereavement Counsellors, Complimentary Therapists and Volunteers who ensure our patients across the Peninsula are well cared for. The community Professional Nurses fulfil an instrumental role in conducting comprehensive initial assessment in addition to identifying the needs and challenges with the patient and family including a tentative plan established to address these. The issues that commonly arise include pain management, other unpleasant symptoms associated with end-of-life care, and nursing care needs. Our palliative care trained nurses provide guidance and explanation regarding the management of symptoms and care, in liaison with the patient’s own doctor and our palliative care doctors. Symptoms and other medical issues are carefully monitored and there is an ongoing review of symptom management to ensure that the patient is comfortable and to promote independence and quality of life.

Our nurses can be accessed during office hours. In case of any emergencies contact your nearest emergency centre or the Department of Health call centre at 112. Patients are also referred, where needed, to other community-based service providers for carers and / or basic nursing services as we do not a hands-on service but work collaboratively with stakeholders and partners. Our holistic approach is patient-centred where our community nurses provide professional, quality services to our patients and families in our service delivery areas, as part of the interdisciplinary team.

In-patient care

Kenilworth In-patient Ward

The St Luke’s Combined Hospices In-Patient Unit is an 18 bed unit with a mix of private rooms, sharing rooms and a 1 room unit catering for the patient and their family at a very critical stage in their life. All the rooms open onto a patio, and overlook an established garden where patients are free to relax with their families. Patients are usually admitted as in-patients at the request of nurses for a short stay of up to 14 days to stabilise symptom and pain control, give families or caregivers respite or provide terminal care.

Click the link to see our revised IPU Protocols: Revised Visiting Protocols – Kenilworth

Psychosocial Care Services

We have a dedicated team of Social Workers who work alongside the medical team providing supportive services for the patient and family, including counselling, food relief programmes, family meetings, supporting patients and families in care planning together with the interdisciplinary team. The social work team offers a holistic psychosocial approach from diagnosis to end of life care. The interdisciplinary team ensures that the patients and their families are well informed about their diagnosis, disease progression and prognosis. We link our patients and families to various service providers via referrals for; social grant applications, UIF claims, work force compensation, placements, wills and care of minor children. The social work team is actively involved in running and facilitating our Day Hospice programmes together with the other members of the interdisciplinary team, including volunteers.

Spiritual Care Services

A key focus of high quality palliative care is the provision of spiritual care. Spirituality has to do with how we make sense of the world, including how we connect to ourselves, to each other, and to our universe. St Luke’s Combined Hospices has Spiritual Care workers and Coordinators who support a team of Volunteers providing care in our in-patient setting, through our day hospice services and in the community.

Spiritual Care Services include:

  • A listening ear
  • Companionship
  • Prayer and rituals
  • Meditation
  • Visualisation
  • Reading and writing
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Music and song
  • Help in connecting with a faith or spiritual tradition that has meaning for the patient
  • Help in planning funerals or other rituals to mark and commemorate times of loss and change

Our Spiritual Care Team offers support irrespective of religious affiliation, gender preferences, socio-economic standing, and we are entirely non predjudicial. We have a well-sourced meditation room called the Oasis, located in the garden of our in-patient unit at Kenilworth for the use of our patients, their families, visitors and staff.

Support Services

Bereavement counselling and support is available at St Luke’s Combined Hospices through the psychosocial team, which is coordinated by a health care professional and staffed by a group of trained volunteer counsellors. Any relatives or close friends of patients at St Luke’s Combined Hospices may request free counselling following the death of a loved one. Counselling can be for a period of 13 months after the death and can be telephonic, face-to-face or via web based platforms (Zoom) If you require bereavement counselling and are not a registered patient with St Luke’s Combined Hospices, the bereavement department will refer you to community based organisations or private service providers in the community.

If you wish to contact us about any bereavement matters, please do so on:

+27 (0)21 797 5335 and to speak to our referrals social worker or write to us at :