Nutrition and hydration in the hospice

1st March 2016

St Richard’s offers specialist care that is designed to meet each patient’s individual needs. We recognise that people have a deep connection with food and eating is important to our quality of life, which is why our holistic care extends to our approach to catering.

Often people lose their appetite, either as a result of their illness or as a result of treatments. Our chef and his skilled team are passionate that patients being cared for at the hospice should be able to enjoy their favourite foods, despite their clinical challenges, in the final days of their lives.

The team produces delicious meals using fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers, choosing foods with high nutritional and calorific value and incorporates them into appetising small portion meals. By being offered a choice of meals, attractively presented, many patients are enthused to eat despite having a poor appetite.

Our specialist nurses, who care for patients in their own communities, are able to offer advice to help patients to enjoy nutritious snacks and light meals. Relatives tell us that they are encouraged by seeing their loved ones enjoy even small meals.

Kevin RatcliffeSome patients can experience some unpleasant side effects from their treatments, including dry mouths and lips which cause them to experience difficulty swallowing.  Using the latest catering equipment available, we are able to ease symptoms by producing fruit based liquid sprays, sorbets and ice-creams to help with mouth care.

This month marks Nutrition and Hydration week, 14th to 16th March, when the importance of food and drink to our physical health and wellbeing will be highlighted. If you, or your loved one, are living with a life-limiting or chronic illness, we would encourage you to eat as well as you can to feed not only your body but also your soul.


Kevin Ratcliffe

Head of Catering Services

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.