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Clinical services

Our hospices

Sobell House Hospice and Katharine House Hospice provide high quality palliative and end of life care for the people of Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire.

We provide this specialist care to those over the age of 18 who have an advanced life-limiting illness.

On both sites, care is delivered by a large multidisciplinary team of specialists in this field who take a holistic approach, considering the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of all individuals.

Our multidisciplinary team includes a large number of professionals, including:

  • medical and nursing staff
  • pharmacists
  • social workers
  • occupational therapists
  • music and art therapist
  • complementary therapists
  • bereavement support workers
  • physiotherapist
  • chaplains
  • volunteers
  • psychiatrists
  • administrators.

We want to reassure our patients that they are in safe hands, and receiving care from experienced, knowledgeable and sensitive people who will support them to achieve the help they need.

We want our patients to feel fulfilled and live life to the full for as long as possible.

Our team

Clinical Lead

Dr Victoria Bradley

Victoria Bradley


  • Prof Bee Wee
  • Dr Matt Carey
  • Dr Tim Harrison
  • Dr Victoria Hedges
  • Dr Mary Miller
  • Dr Charlie Bond
  • Dr Farzana Virani

Associate Specialists

  • Dr Jane Stickland
  • Dr Julia Bartley
  • Dr Ros Henderson

Specialty Doctors

  • Dr Michelle Fletcher
  • Dr Tanya Greenway
  • Dr Helen Willicombe
  • Dr Jeanne Fay
  • Dr Rosie Hogg
  • Dr Camellia Wong

Consultant in Psychological Medicine

Dr Tom Bajorek

Palliative Care Deputy Matron

Helen Disley


Helen Disley

Specialist Nurses for Palliative Care

Mary Walding


Mary Walding

Paula Johnson


Living Well Lead

Natalie Herbert


Natalie Herbert

Bereavement Care and Voluntary Services Lead

Srinder Singh


Srinder Singh

Inpatient care

Oxford University Hospitals has two hospice wards for patients with specialist palliative care needs across Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire.

  • Katharine House Hospice Inpatient Unit
    A 10-bed ward in Katharine House Hospice in Adderbury, Banbury
  • Sobell House Hospice Inpatient Unit
    An 18-bed ward in Sobell House Hospice on the Churchill Hospital site in Oxford.

Both departments are staffed by experienced and committed palliative care professionals, dedicated to ensuring the best possible care for our vulnerable patient group.

We welcome student nurse, student paramedic and medical student placements, and value the time we have to teach and share our experiences with our future workforce.

24/7 care is delivered by a broad multidisciplinary team, including:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Chaplains
  • Music and Art Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Social Workers

Contact us

Sobell House Hospice

  • Inpatient Unit: 01865 225873
  • Reception: 01865 225860

Katharine House Hospice

  • Inpatient Unit: 01295 229940
  • Reception: 01295 228528

Sobell House Charge Nurse

Adam Cole


Katharine House Ward Sister

Abbie Hessey



Please see Visitor FAQs and contact us if you have any queries.

With You

Families of patients at our hospices can stay connected to their loved ones, even if they are unable to visit.

WithYou is a free, easy-to-use online service. You can send personal voice messages, music and audio greetings cards to your loved ones.

For more details please see:


Community care

The Community Palliative Care Team aims to provide specialist support to patients within their own home (including care homes, nursing homes and wherever they may live).

The team comprises nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, a pharmacist and a benefits adviser.

All members of the team have specialist training and experience in caring for patients who have a life-limiting illness.

In Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire, the Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurses work as one team, from two bases in the two hospices in the county.

Community palliative care support is based on an in-depth assessment. As part of this we ask patients to complete a brief questionnaire, then explore concerns in more depth.

This specialist support may involve:

  • symptom control - we work with GPs and other healthcare staff to advise on medication and other help to improve difficult symptoms which are troublesome for patients
  • support for the individual and the people who are most important to them - this may mean referral to other organisations that can help
  • advice about benefits and other sources of financial support
  • support with planning for the future.

After a routine referral is made, the patient will be sent an introductory letter explaining the service. The nursing team will then make contact to arrange an initial assessment, either in outpatients, at home or via video link using 'Attend Anywhere'.

When an urgent referral is made, or if there is a concern about symptoms recorded on the referral form, a nurse will make a brief phone call to the patient or their advocate, to explore this further and provide initial advice if required.

A more complete initial assessment will then be arranged at a later date, depending on need.

At the end of the initial assessment, a care plan will be created with the person and the people important to them. This can be reviewed at a later stage. With the person's consent, we will share this with other healthcare professionals.

It is important to us to treat people as individuals and enable them to live as well as possible in the time they have and achieve their own goals.

The patient's GP is responsible for care at home, requesting our palliative care advice when needed but remaining the key healthcare professional responsible for prescribing medication in the community.

The Community Palliative Care Team works alongside other hospital teams, who remain responsible for any treatment that they advise.

Some patients also have a Specialist Nurse linked to their condition who can offer support.

Hospice Outreach

The Community Palliative Care Team supports a 'virtual ward' which enables us to provide intensive support to anyone who has a symptom crisis or a sudden increase in complexity in their situation.

We work alongside our acute medicine and community colleagues to enable people to stay in their familiar environment wherever possible.

The clinical advice and support can be supported by a referral to the Home Hospice team (see below), if there are increased care needs because of the crisis.


Referral to specialist palliative care is not a 'secret code' that someone is dying in a short timeframe - we see patients at any stage in their illness and are here to help improve quality of life.

Referral to specialist palliative care will not hasten death - indeed, the evidence is that it not only improves quality of life but also that people who have palliative care involvement will live longer.

The Community Palliative Care Team is not usually in regular contact if difficult symptoms have resolved, we encourage people to focus on living their life and call the team when they need more support

Dying patients do not all need specialist palliative care referrals. All healthcare professionals have experience of caring for people who are dying. GPs and district nurses have particular expertise, but sometimes things are complex, and patients and families require more specialist support for a while.

Home Hospice Care Team

The Home Hospice Care Team delivers care to patients in their own homes during the last few weeks of their life, or as short-term crisis intervention until care can be provided by another care agency.

Support is offered with personal care, dressing, food preparation and repositioning, with the overall aim that the patient can remain in their own home, if this is their wish.

Patients are referred into the Home Hospice Care Team by a healthcare professional involved in their care. Once a referral is received a Home Hospice Care Assessor will visit the patient to complete a holistic assessment.

Following the initial assessment care visits are scheduled, and care is delivered by trained Patient Support Workers.

If there are any concerns about a patient situation, the Patient Support Workers will report back to the Community Palliative Care Nurses who will then make contact to assess the situation and ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

The Home Hospice Care Team covers Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire, with bases at the Horton General Hospital and at Unipart House in Oxford.

If you would like a referral, please discuss this with your GP or a health professional involved in your care.

Palliative Care Hub

The Hub comprises doctors, nurses and administrators, and will take referrals and messages, answer queries and offer support and advice.

Anyone who has been referred to the palliative care team at any point is encouraged to call the Hub if they have worsening symptoms or if they need support. This offer extends to carers and others important to the patient who may have concerns.

Contact the Palliative Care Hub


Tel: 01865 857036
9.00am - 5.00pm seven days a week

Out of hours (after 5.00pm) contact 111

Incoming and outgoing calls may be recorded for training and audit purposes.

We are not an emergency service: if your need is urgent call your GP surgery or 111 who will have access to the right support and can contact the on-call palliative care doctor if necessary.

Patients currently under the care of the Palliative Care Hub should make 111 staff aware of this, as it can speed access to the right support.



Emails are checked at least half hourly every day. We do not give out individual emails or mobile numbers, as these are not checked when the member of staff is off duty.

When to contact the Hub

You have a question about your symptoms or advice the team has given.

There has been a change in your symptoms. If this is a significant change we may advise a GP assessment. If you have a new symptom it is more likely we will advise you contact your GP.

You want to change an arrangement you have made with a team member.

You are concerned about a change or want to update a team member on your situation.

When to call elsewhere

Out of hours call 111.

For urgent help ring 999.

For prescription renewal (even if originally advised by the team) - contact GP surgery.

For District Nurses: 01865 903750

If the patient is in hospital or a hospice ward, please call the hospital or hospice for information, as the Community Palliative Care Team will not have up-to-date details.

Hospital Palliative Care Team

Our Hospital Palliative Care Team provides support to people facing life limiting illness in hospital.

Our team comprises specialist palliative care doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and pharmacists based on our hospital sites supported by the rest of the palliative care department.

Our team provides support to adult patients within the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and Horton General Hospital, working alongside ward staff in an advisory capacity.

We can:

  • help with physical symptoms to diminish the distress these might cause
  • offer emotional and practical support and advice to patients and their loved ones relating to their illness
  • help patients and their loved ones make plans for the future
  • liaise with other health care professionals involved in care in the hospital, at home or from other centres
  • support discharge from hospital to the most appropriate place for ongoing care where this is appropriate.

The Hospital Palliative Care Team also facilitates a rapid discharge service for those patients whose situation changes and they are now dying in hospital, but would prefer to be at home.

We coordinate equipment, care (working with the Home Hospice carers), transport and pharmacy to enable people to return home within 24 hours if possible.

The Hospice Outreach team will then review to ensure the situation is supported at home.

If you think that this service may be appropriate for someone you care for, please ask the ward staff to refer.

Contact us

All sites: 01865 221741
8.00am - 6.00pm seven days a week

Oxford Lymphoedema Service

Lymphoedema is a swelling caused by a build up of lymph fluid within the tissue space of a part of the body. This occurs if the lymph nodes and lymph vessels that carry the lymph fluid away are not working properly.

It can be hereditary, or caused by trauma or treatments, and can affect any part of the body from head and neck to feet and toes.

Lipoedema is a condition where abnormal fat cells cause excess fatty adipose tissue. It commonly affects the hips and legs, but can affect arms as well. It mainly affects women and can be very painful.

Some people have a combination of lipoedema and lymphoedema. There is no cure for either - they are long-term (chronic) conditions. However, with the right treatment symptoms can be improved and managed well.


Oxford Lymphoedema Service is led by Specialist Nurses and has two clinics. We offer advice, treatments and education, and support patients to self-manage their condition.

Sobell House clinic

Monday to Friday and evenings, for patients with cance and non-cancer-related lymphoedema, and patients with lipoedema.

Katharine House clinic

Monday to Thursday clinics, for patients with cancer and non-cancer-related lymphoedema.


If you would like a referral, please discuss this with your GP or a health professional involved in your care. Upon referral to our Lymphoedema Clinic one of our Specialist Nurses will assess you.

Contact us

Tel: 01865 225864

Art and music therapy

Art and music therapy are two very special services we offer, which are entirely funded by charitable donations.

Jessica Taylor, Art Therapist, and Tom Crook, Music Therapist, offer emotional and psychological support to our patients and their families. They work across all departments within the hospices, at home, on our wards, in local hospitals and as part of our Living Well Service.

Living Well

Living Well aims to enhance the wellbeing of people affected by life-limiting illness. Our multi-professional team offers a varied programme within a compassionate, inclusive, and supportive environment.

We enable and empower people to live well, by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to help them achieve their goals and to live day to day with a sense of purpose.

We understand that people have different needs, and wellbeing means different things to different people; we therefore offer a range of support and activity, so that everyone can find something right for them.

When you first access the service, we will work alongside you to find the elements of our programme that you feel will be most beneficial.

You may wish to:

  • meet other people in a similar situation
  • access support from our specialist team
  • learn skills to maintain your independence
  • build confidence towards achieving a particular goal
  • increase your knowledge and understanding of your illness and how to manage your symptoms.

Contact us


Tel: 01295 228500 (Katharine House)

Tel: 01865 225875 (Sobell House)


Self-referral / non-healthcare referrals

Please complete the Living Well registration form.

GP and clinical community referrals

Please contact the Palliative Care Hub.

Social Care Services

Our Social Care Services team includes:

  • social workers
  • benefits advisor
  • administrative support.

We help patients, families and hospice staff with psychological, social and financial concerns, and also refer them to the Living Well, Hospital and Community teams.

Our social workers can help with arranging funding and care providers at home or in nursing homes and our benefits advisor can assist patients and families in the community through a home visiting programme.

We offer a teaching programme for our staff to help them improve their skills in palliative care.


Your opinion of our services is very important to us. We want every patient's experience to be excellent, and we use the Hospice Care - Patient, Friends and Family Feedback form to understand what matters most to patients and their carers or family members.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Help us shape the future of palliative care by sharing your thoughts.

We are looking to create a diverse pool of people who are interested in contributing to palliative care research, education and service improvement.

Anyone is welcome, whether you're a patient, carer, supporter or interested member of the public. Help us improve palliative care locally and beyond.

Register to get involved:

Palliative care | register to get involved

For more information please contact us.


Last reviewed:27 June 2024