End of Life - Palliative Care

COVID-19 service update: normal service


We provide support and care for patients with a terminal illness, who are nearing the end of their lives.

Our nursing staff will strive to make the patient as comfortable as possible, in the place of their choice where possible, by relieving pain and other distressing symptoms. We also provide psychological, social and spiritual support for the patient and their family and/or carers.

Our end of life vision is to provide choice, to care with kindness, dignity and compassion, and to co-ordinate high quality support at the right time, in the right place, for our patients, carers and their family.

This support is available seven days a week, across Dorset. Care is provided in your home or in a community hospital.

If you, or your loved one, would like to know more, please speak to your GP, community nurse or other healthcare professional.

More information about the help and support available for family members and carers is available on our carers page. Alternatively, we work in partnership with Dorset For You which has a very useful section full of information about End of Life care on their website.

There is also this leaflet on bereavement support in Dorset.

Specialist palliative care is also available in Dorset. For further information, please contact:

  • Christchurch Macmillan Unit - 01202 705291
  • Forest Holme, Poole - 01202 448115
  • Lewis-Manning Hospice - 01202 708470
  • Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, Dorchester - 01305 215300

  • Leaflets
  • Referral via GP or community nurse and healthcare professional
  • Carers

Do you have any feedback on our palliative (end of life) care service? Let us know using Care Opinion and help us improve our services while sharing your experiences in your own words in a way which is safe, simple and anonymous.

Information for people approaching the final stages of life and their carers, at the Willows, Yeatman Hospital

About the Willows

As you approach the old Yeatman Hospital Building you will see a short narrow road to the right of the building called Back Lane. The Willows and car park is at the bottom of Back Lane.


The Willows is the in-patient part of the Yeatman hospital. It is divided into two wards – Rowan Ward (01305 361524) and Beech Ward (01305 361525).


Each ward has a ward Sister and a team of Registered Nurses and Health Care Assistants who deliver the day to day clinical care and treatment. Both wards are overseen by Senior Sister Barbara Ludlow and the Hospital Matron is Anne Hiscock.


Our ward Doctor is called Joanna Zaborowska or ‘Dr Jo’ and she works Monday to Friday 9-5 and our Consultant is Dr Lucy Pearce. Lucy visits the ward twice weekly.


We work very closely with Weldmar Hospicecare; Annette & Frances are the Specialist Nurses from Weldmar who also visits the ward frequently.


Our ethos is about caring for the patient as well as their friends and family. We will do what we can to work with you, support you and care for you. If you have any requests that will make life more bearable please do not hesitate to ask. We will always try our best to accommodate your needs and that of your family.



We have two suites (one on each ward) that have been specially created for added comfort and privacy for you and your loved ones.


These are the Jean King Suite and the Ada Kearvell Suite. In both suites there are tea making facilities TVs and sleeping arrangements.


Coping with the news

Hearing that you may be nearing the end of your life can be very difficult and distressing. You may experience strong and often overwhelming emotions that make it difficult for you to think clearly. You may need some time on your own or with your relatives or a close friend to think about the future.


Some people find it easier to talk to someone outside their family. If you think this would be helpful, you can talk to any member of the Clinical team caring for you here on the Willows.


Facing an uncertain future

Although your future may be uncertain, you may still find it helpful to plan ahead and make the most of the days when you feel well. You might want to plan to do something special with your family and friends. There may also be other important things you want to do. The Staff on the Willows will be only too happy to facilitate whatever they can.


People close to you

Your friends and family are welcome at the Willows anytime – day or night. Although we do ask for visitors to be aware that large numbers of people can be overwhelming for the other patients on the ward and for you.


For access out of hours we would advise your family to let the staff know when they’re likely to visit. The doorbell is at eye level on the front door of the Willows.


We have a menu especially designed for your loved ones to ensure they do not need to worry about meal times. We do charge a nominal fee.


For close family members we can accommodate them sleeping over or even close together with you if this is what you would like; please do ask the team.


Again in relation to close family members they are welcome to use the shower facilities; we have a range of toiletry products that can be provided on request.


Parking is free - please speak to the team who will provide your loved ones with a car park pass.


Spiritual and religious issues

Some people become more aware of religious beliefs or spiritual feelings. Spirituality can be expressed in many ways, such as through music, arts, nature, or how you relate to your family or community. We have links with all denominations please let us know should you need assistance with spiritual needs whatever this means to you.

Bereavement Support

The Yeatman Hospital hosts a Bereavement Café; if your loved one would like more information about this please refer to the staff who will give them the information leaflet.

Weldmar Hospicecare also offers bereavement support for those who have been cared for by their teams.


In addition there is Dorset Cruse 0808 808 1677 and GP support on request.


If you have any concerns

If you or your family have any concerns about any aspect of your care please let us know straight away.


We are not easily offended and would much prefer to be given the opportunity to address any worries in a timely way.


Sr Barbara’s direct line is: 01305 361546

Matron Anne’s direct line is: 01305 361522