The counselling service is based at Forest Holme and provides support and counselling to people under the care of the hospice or living with a diagnosis of cancer. Their partners, children and families can also access the counselling service. Support may be needed when cancer is first diagnosed or at any stage of the illness.

The service is available by appointment from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, with some flexibility for early morning and early evening sessions. We also see individuals and their families on the ward in Forest Holme and other wards of Poole Hospital.

How counselling can help

Talking to a counsellor may help you to:

  • See things differently
  • Explore your feelings in a safe environment
  • Find ways to manage feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Improve communication with family, friends and health professionals
  • Feel supported
  • Find a level of acceptance and increased understanding of your deepest concerns

We offer a confidential service provided by professionally trained counsellors experienced in working with people affected by cancer and bereavement.

How to access the service

We recommend, whenever possible, that the person choosing to have counselling contacts us directly. We appreciate that making the first contact may take considerable courage, as it is the first step towards being in the counselling relationship. This is especially the case if you have not previously talked about personal issues to someone outside of your friends and family.

Referrals can also be made through the medical and nursing staff, or the hospital and community specialist palliative care teams.

An initial assessment session will be offered to discuss your needs and whether counselling may be supportive to you at this time. No charge is made for the counselling sessions.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Counselling Team, please telephone 0300 019 8096 between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday to make an appointment with a counsellor.

If you call outside of these hours please leave your name, a brief message and times when you are available and we will return your call.

Support for carers

A carers support service is available at Poole Hospital that offers advice and information about what support is available for carers and details of upcoming carers groups. Visit the Poole Hospital website for more information.

Lewis Manning Hospice host a Carers Group every Thursday from 10.30am until 12.30pm. Please visit their website for further information.