When does palliative care begin? Some people think that you only have hospice care when you are dying, but this is not true. A hospice palliative care team might help control symptoms such as pain or breathlessness early on in your illness, either at home or when staying at the hospice for a few days before going home again. Some people have a number of periods of hospice care, depending on their condition and their wishes. Hospice care is free of charge. You can contact a hospice directly yourself, but the team will usually also ask for a referral from your doctor or nurse. Hospice places are limited, but you can contact your local hospice to see what is available. Hospices are funded through a combination of NHS funding and public donations.