A NEW clinic service to support people with life-limiting illnesses opens on Wednesday.

People are able to go to appointments to see a Wigan and Leigh Hospice nurse specialist from Wednesdays at Old Henry Street Medical Centre from 1pm to 4pm.

The Community Health Nurse Specialist team are highly trained in palliative and end of life care.

Manager of the Community Hospice Nurse Specialist service, Jenny Gallagher, said: “We hold outpatient clinics at our Woodview Centre at the hospice in Hindley seven days a week but sometimes people are afraid to come.

"There is still a fear of hospices and what they represent.

"The Woodview Centre is at the side of the main hospice and is a beautiful building in a relaxed peaceful atmosphere.

"However, we acknowledge that some patients are still anxious about coming.

“One of the ways we are addressing this is by bringing the clinics closer to patients’ homes and holding them within the community in GP surgeries.

"It may also be far easier for people to travel to their GP surgery rather than to the outpatient clinics at the Woodview Centre.”

In the past the team have visited patients at home but are able to see far more people by holding outpatient clinics.

A community hospice nurse specialist can help patients with any symptoms they may be experiencing - such as pain, sickness, breathlessness or appetite loss - as well as support them emotionally and help them plan for the future.

Most of the team can prescribe medications to help with symptoms that can arise from the patient’s illness.

Jenny added: "In 2017 the number of patient appointments increased by 36 per cent compared to the previous year due to the team seeing more patients in clinics.”

To access the clinics, patients must have a life-limiting illness such as motor neurone disease, advanced cancer, progressive heart failure or COPD.

They should approach their GP, district nurse or hospital consultant to be referred to the service.

As well as the Woodview Centre at the hospice's Kildare Street base, clinics also take place in Standish and in Marsh Green in Wigan.