Hospice in the Home Night Carer Service

Night carer button

 If you would like to download the referral form to be signed, please click on the green button.




  • Hospice in the Home Night Carer Service provides end of life care in the home, to support people who have expressed a wish to die at home. It is designed to help people make the most of their final time together.
  • What is palliative care?   Hospice South Canterbury has a long history of providing specialised palliative care for patients in the in-patient unit. Palliative Care is designed to improve the quality of life for patients facing a life-limiting illness and for their families / whānau. This is achieved through the relief of suffering, of pain and other symptoms. Psychological and spiritual support is provided through the illness, death and bereavement.
  • The Night Carer Service will broaden the scope of caring and support to the people of South Canterbury. For many people, one of their greatest wishes is to spend their last days at home, in familiar surroundings, with family and other loved ones at hand. However round-the-clock care can be exhausting. This overnight sitting service allows families to preserve their strength, get some sleep and helps them cope better for the journey ahead. The family member or support person will always be present in the patient’s house.

This service is free.

  • The Team.     This supportive home-based care is provided by care workers (Hospice Assistants) trained in specialist palliative care. Hospice works in collaboration with the South Canterbury Palliative multidisciplinary team. The patient’s General Practitioner continues to be the primary palliative care provider and is pivotal to the care of the patient choosing to die at home.
  • The patient.     The person will be nearing the end of life and may or may not be known to Hospice. They are most likely to be known to the SCDHB Community Palliative Care Team and may be receiving District Nursing input during the day.
  • The package of care.     The package of care provides up to 50 hours of care, used over consecutive nights, or spread over days or weeks. The hours are from 10 pm to 8 am. Care is specific to the needs of each person. This may include personal hygiene, continence management, pressure-area care or sitting at the bedside. The patient’s family member/s or support person must remain in the house. They may be called upon to administer medications (the care worker Hospice Assistant does not administer medications).


  • All eligible people1 are within the South Canterbury DHB district and who meet the access criteria.
  • The Eligibility Direction describes the groups of people who are eligible for publicly funded (free or subsidised) health and disability services in New Zealand. http://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/eligibility-publicly-funded-health-services/eligibility-direction
  • The service user’s house will be in an area that has phone coverage (landline and/or cell phone).
  • There is a set of access criteria, describing which patients/families will be entitled to receive the night support package. Access is available for all people who meet this access criteria based on need and is independent of diagnosis, age, cultural background or geography.


      The patient is assessed as needing primary palliative care. Assessment is made by the primary palliative care provider (General or Nurse Practitioner), or the SCDHB Community Palliative Team, or the SCDHB District Nursing Service. The patient will have an active, progressive and advanced disease (a life-limiting illness). The patient is reasonably expected to die within 12 months (timeframe may be longer for children, young adults and those with non-malignant disease).
    • The patient has expressed a wish to remain at home even through to death (verbal or within Advance Care Plans).
    • The patient is nearing end-of-life.
    • Functional ability of the patient is   40 % on the Palliative Performance Scale, but may be


    • The need for Hospice Overnight Care may be episodic.
    • May or may not be registered with the SCDHB Community Palliative Team.
    • The family / whānau / carers are physically or emotionally unable to continue the caring of their loved one without support.
    • Carer stress is high.
    • There are specific cultural / spiritual issues necessitating extra support.
    • The family / whānau / carers will remain in the house, and will be available to administer medications if required
    • Assessment has been made of:
  • .
    • Equipment available in the home, to enable safe patient moving and transfer.
    • The house and property, to ensure it is a safe environment.
    • Phone coverage - the house will be in an area that has phone coverage (landline and/or cell phone).


Referral to the Hospice Care Overnight service will be from:


  • SCDHB Community Palliative Care Service
  • General Practice Team
  • SCDHB Public Hospital - other than palliative care service
  • Community Services (DHB based - including district nurse)
  • Other - Private Hospital, Maori Health services, self / carer / family / whānau, other Hospice service, specialist private medical practitioner.
  • (It will be requested that the patient be admitted to the SCDHB Community Palliative Care Service to ensure there is continuity of care and support)
  • Referral and consultationwill be between the referrer and the Hospice Clinical Nurse Manager or the senior Registered Nurse on duty.
  • Assessment will be made as to whether the patient meets the access criteria.
  • The referrer will be notified of the outcome in an agreed timeframe.
  • Hours utilized and residual hours will be tracked.
  • Hospice holds the right to review the hours being allocated.
  • Like to know more?

    Please call for more information regarding eligibility and availability.

    Telephone:           03 6877675                         (nurses)

                                 03 6877674                         (Clinical Nurse Manager: Faye Gillies)

    Fax:                      03 6877676

    Email:                  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Night carer buttonIf you would like to download the referral form to be signed, please click on the green button.