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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Forest Holme Hospice

Forest Holme is a purpose-built specialist palliative care unit.

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Forest Holme is situated a short distance from Poole Hospital and offers a tranquil setting for the care of patients and their families. Palliative care at Forest Holme Hospice is for adults with advanced, progressive serious illness. The unit also helps to support families and friends.

At Forest Holme, we have access to the full range of investigations offered by the hospital, but our emphasis on comfort and quality of life, means that we only request such tests if we believe they will change our treatment. Blood tests can be performed on the ward but other investigations usually require an ambulance trip to the main hospital. Similarly, we offer a full range of standard medical treatments, however, as our emphasis is on peace and comfort as people approach the end of their life, we do not have full resuscitation facilities on site. You are always welcome to discuss this with the senior doctors or nurses if you wish to understand the implications more fully.

The team at Forest Holme Hospice is here to help with:

  • Management of symptoms that are difficult to control
  • Fears and anxiety about your illness and the future
  • Encouraging and enabling you to maintain your independence
  • Advice on social and financial problems
  • Spiritual issues
  • Personal care in the last weeks or months of life
  • Liaising with other staff (GP, district nurse, consultants and so on)
  • Applying for relevant benefits and grants
  • Advice about other services that may be available to you
  • Educating and training others in palliative care

Our philosophy

Our philosophy is to provide a welcoming, safe environment which makes excellent relative loungecare available to people with serious illnesses, and to provide support to their families. The care is individually tailored to meet the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of all those coming into contact with staff based at Forest Holme, in order that all kinds of distress be reduced to a minimum.Care is given by a courteous and appropriately qualified team of doctors, nurses and other staff. We aim to restore as much choice and control to individuals themselves as is feasible within the constraints of their illness.


Visitors are welcome at any time, although many people enjoy a sleep after lunch and we suggest that early afternoon from 1 - 3pm is kept as a quiet time. Being visited can be tiring and it is often better to limit the number of visitors at any one time and to encourage them not to stay too long. Children of any age are welcome and well-behaved pets may also visit. We have a large lounge and small courtyard garden. Visitors with cars are asked to share with other family members, or park in one of the local public car parks if there are several family members visiting at the same time. There is some parking on nearby streets for up to two hours.

It is now national policy that there is no smoking on NHS premises. Furthermore, Forest Holme is fitted with smoke alarms. We therefore request that neither patients nor their visitors smoke within Forest Holme.


We welcome referrals from GPs, hospital doctors, ward staff and community nurses. We would always expect referrals to have been discussed with the individual. If you wish you can refer yourself to the service, we encourage you to speak to your doctor or nurse if you would like to be seen by the palliative care team. Referrals can be made by letter or telephone, or can be made on one of our referral forms. If the referral is urgent we encourage you to phone or fax.

Our catchment area

Our normal catchment area is Poole, Wimborne and the Purbecks. Elsewhere in Dorset, similar services are provided through the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch for those living in Bournemouth, Ferndown and surrounding areas, and by Weldmar Hospicecare Trust for residents of North and West Dorset.

Contact information

Reception: 0300 019 8118

24 hour palliative care advice line: 0300 019 8115

Counselling services: 0300 019 8096

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

Further information on how to find Forest Holme can be found here


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