A patient’s guide

The aim of our team is to provide you, your family and friends with a high level of care and support during your stay, treating you with dignity and respect at all times.
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The Inpatient Unit

The Inpatient Unit is created in an octagon shape around a central reception area. The multidisciplinary team offices are located in this area. As you settle in, the staff will help you familiarise yourself with your location.

If there is anything you need during your stay with us, please just feel free to ask. It is important for all the team at St Clare Hospice to provide you and your family with the highest level of individual care possible.

A common worry people have is that everyone who comes to a hospice as an inpatient never go home again. Some patients choose to spend their last days with us because they know the care they will receive is outstanding. But, for many of our patients, they come to stay to help get their symptoms under control or for a full assessment of their needs. They may only need to stay for a few days before going home again.

The Inpatient Unit provides short stay care, with the average stay being around 10 days. We are unable to provide long stay care. The discharge for each patient is carefully planned based on their needs, in full discussion with the patient and their family, GP, district nurse and St Clare community team.


The Inpatient Unit has eight single rooms all with an en-suite shower. The rooms have been upgraded to a very high standard have state of the art specialist equipment to aid your comfort and ease independence. There is also a television and telephone. All rooms have French doors opening out onto your own patio area, with beautiful views of the grounds.

In addition to the en-suites, there is a seperate bathroom with a jacuzzi bath and toilet for the use of patients. If you wish to use the jacuzzi, please speak to a member of staff.


We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; however snacks and drinks are available throughout the day and evening. The Chef will visit you daily to check your menu choices and any special dietary requirements you may have. If you would like something that is not on the menu, please ask.

The Inpatient Unit kitchen is an area for you, your friends and family to use. Please feel free to help yourselves to any provisions from the kitchen. There is no charge for these, but any donations are always gratefully received.

The multidisciplinary team

Members of the multidisciplinary team meet daily to discuss your care. There are many members of the multidisciplinary team who will be involved in your care including:

  • Doctors
  • Registered nurses and nursing assistants
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Complementary therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Chaplain
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • St Clare Clinical Nurse
  • Specialists

The team is supported by administrators and a number of valuable volunteers. The Hospice provides training in specialist palliative care, so at times we may have medical or nursing students working with us.


For many patients nursing staff will administer your medication as it may be subject to review and change. If you would like to administer your own medication, please discuss this with the nurse looking after you who will be happy to help.

Complementary Therapies

As part of the care you will receive, you may be offered complementary therapy to help reduce tension, provide comfort and relief from symptoms, and make you feel more relaxed. Therapies are offered alongside your usual medical care and include aromatherapy, reflexology, massage and Reiki. Our complementary therapists will agree with you which is the most appropriate following an assessment of your needs. Therapies are also available to relatives and carers to support them with the stresses of their caring role. If you would more information, please let a member of staff know.


Rehabilitation aims to improve, or limit the loss of, your ability to do every day activities and is typically led by our occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Our occupational therapists can work with you to overcome problems such as anxiety, fatigue and difficulty in coping with changing abilities, as well as practical difficulties, such as maintaining independence.

Our physiotherapists aim to maximise independence and dignity by addressing physical difficulties, such as mobility, muscle weakness, breathing difficulties and pain. They are also able to access equipment that can help people when they are discharged home. The team will see patients as required, so please ask if you would like more details.

The Sanctuary

This is a special room that is always open, for contemplation, tranquillity and prayer or to simply take some time out. Please feel free to use the Sanctuary at anytime. If you would like assistance getting to and from the room please ask a member of staff who will happily assist you.

Visiting – Information for patients

We have an open visiting policy. However, you may feel tired at times, and wish to discuss with your family the times when you prefer not to have visitors. We are able to accommodate relatives who wish to stay overnight, please discuss this with the nurse caring for you.


It may be possible to arrange transport for relatives who experience difficulties getting to the Hospice. This will be via our volunteer drivers and subject to availability. Please ask a member of staff for details.


The Hospice has designated smoking areas for all staff and visitors, however patients who wish to smoke may do so on the patio area connected to their room.


Your pets are always welcome to visit. We respectfully ask that they are supervised at all times.

Telephones and Wireless Internet Access

Your room has a telephone that you are welcome to use. If your family and friends ring the main Inpatient Unit number 01279 773777 the team will put the call through to your room. No charge is made for local telephone calls made from the Hospice, although you are free to make a donation. There is also a wireless internet connection for you to use, if you wish. You are welcome to leave your mobile telephone on, but please ensure that it is in silent mode so that other people are not disturbed.

Discharge planning

St Clare Hospice Inpatient Unit provides short stay care for patients. The average patient stay on the Unit is 10 days. We do not provide long term Inpatient care but plan discharge in full discussion with yourself and your family, your GP, District Nurse, and St Clare Clinical Nurse Specialist, based on your needs.

Additional information

If required we have further information available on:

  • Use of medicines beyond licence
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Please ask a member of staff if you would like this information.

See Access our services for information about how to access our services, our catchment area, referral criteria and the referral form.

Front cover of leafletWelcome to the IPU: A patient’s guide

This leaflet aims to answer some frequently asked questions about the Inpatient Unit and give you a brief insight into the services we offer which you may use during your stay.

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