• Patient & Family Support

    Patients and Families

Patient & Family Support

Support services personnel at St Andrew’s Hospice are here to support patients’ families in addition to patients; responding to and addressing emotional, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

Download our Support Services leaflet
Download our Common Grief Reactions leaflet

Pastoral Social

The support team offer support to relatives in coping with the emotional and practical implications of the patient’s illness and prognosis.

This may involve:

  • Assisting with a wide variety of practical problems, including assessing for and implementing enhanced care packages for patients returning home, working closely with community-based staff, ‘Home Care’ and other agencies
  • Facilitating improved communications between patients and their families and between individual family members
  • Supporting patients and family members coping with anticipatory grief and related issues

Spiritual and Religious Care

It is widely recognized that the spiritual is a natural and integral dimension of what it means to be human, and includes the awareness of self, of relationships with others and with creation.

Health and Social Care Scotland recognises that questions of meaning, purpose, hope, or the lack of it, identity and relationship become acute when wellbeing and stability are threatened by illness, injury or loss in oneself or in a loved one. At such times people may need spiritual or religious care.

Spiritual care can be given in one to one or group relationships, is person-centred and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation. Spiritual care:

  • Offers a space in which individuals and their needs are regarded as central;
  • Offers person-centred rather than staff-centred care;
  • Elicits and honours an individual’s story;
  • Journeys with an individual further into the pain, darkness, uncertainty or unknowing;
  • Holds out the possibility of other ways of seeing or understanding, without imposing personal views or frameworks;
  • Fosters autonomy and self-management rather than dependence and direction;
  • Is characterised by an equitable, respectful and non-judgemental relationship between two human beings.

Religious care is given in the context of the shared religious beliefs, values, liturgies and lifestyles of a faith community.

Spiritual care is not necessarily religious.

Religious care should always be spiritual.

Among the basic spiritual needs that might be addressed within the

normal, daily activity of healthcare are:

  • The need to give and receive love
  • The need to be understood
  • The need to be valued as a human being
  • The need for forgiveness, hope and trust
  • The need to explore beliefs and values
  • The need to express feelings honestly
  • The need to find meaning and purpose in life

Feelings such as isolation, loneliness, fear, abandonment, distrust, and grief can sometimes be companions to acute illness.

Spiritual care can assist our patients to maintain or re-establish trust, strength and hope and to continue to demonstrate the dignity and uniqueness of their lives.

All staff at St Andrew’s Hospice try to give assistance in these matters supported by the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team.


There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person’s grief is unique to them.

We at St Andrew’s Hospice recognise that many people cope well with their grief through the support of family and friends. However, others have found that it can be helpful to have someone from outside their family and circle of friends to speak with about their feelings and sense of loss.

Bereavement support is offered to all families who have been referred to St Andrew’s; they may then decide whether or not they need support. If relatives have not availed themselves of this service, a further offer is made 6 weeks after the bereavement. After 6 months they are invited to a memorial service where, if necessary, they can be reminded of the offer of support.

Bereavement Support Information

At St Andrew’s Hospice, bereavement support is available to the people of Lanarkshire. The bereavement service has been set up and developed to offer confidential support and counseling for people who have experienced bereavement. Our services are also for children who have lost a parent or a grandparent.

Grieving is the normal process following bereavement. It can affect people in many different ways: emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially.

One-to-one support and counselling is offered by the Support Services team at St. Andrew’s Hospice.

Download our Bereavement Support Information leaflet

Seasons for Growth

An opportunity for people to meet, explore, and share their feelings in a safe environment. A member of the team facilitates this group.

The group meets by arrangement.

Bereavement Support Group

This group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 2pm in Education Centre, located in the Tom Cox Building.


St Andrew’s Hospice offers specialist palliative care, not only for the patient, but also for family members and carers. It is most important that family members and carers are emotionally and spiritually supported, both prior to and post death in a sensitive manner.

We can offer further help and advice if people have problems of a highly personal nature, calling on our highly skilled hospice staff, one to one support is available if necessary.

10 tips for family caregivers:

  • Choose to take charge of your life, and don’t let your loved one’s illness or disability always take centre stage
  • Remember to be good to yourself. Love, honour and value yourself. You’re doing a very hard job and you deserve some quality time, just for you
  • Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it
  • When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do
  • Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. Information is empowering.
  • There’s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence
  • Trust your instincts, most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction
  • Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams
  • Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen
  • Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.

Children’s Support Service

The Children’s Support Service is designed to provide children with some insight into illness and grief and to help them put this into the perspective of a general life experience. The service provides children, families and carers with a safe and inviting place in which to ask questions relevant to their situation. The service also supports parents and carers to be more aware of the children’s thoughts and feelings and enables them to deal with them in the most appropriate and sensitive way.

Members of the Support Team, specially trained sessional staff and carefully selected and trained volunteers staff the service which takes place each Friday from 4.30pm – 6.00pm

For more information about our Children’s Support Service, please download our leaflet.

A Whole School Approach to Loss and Bereavement, a reference toolkit, providing information to help teachers support children and young people during times of loss, change and bereavement.