How we care Palliative care advice and support 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.