Planning a visit to the IPU

Visiting during the coronavirus pandemic

Updated Thursday, July 15, 2021

With the Government announcement on the lifting of legal restrictions for the general public around Covid from next Monday, we would like to reassure our patients and loved ones that we will continue working hard to provide a safe environment.

As a specialist health care organisation, caring for very vulnerable people, we will continue to follow and regularly review national guidance to protect patients, visitors and staff from the spread of the coronavirus to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible. NHS England has confirmed today (15th July) that infection prevention control guidelines will remain mandatory in all healthcare settings beyond 19th July. This means our current arrangements around visiting, wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing will remain unchanged at this time.

We understand how important it is for patients, their families and loved ones to stay in close contact and you can find details of who, how and when people can visit the In-patient Unit (IPU) below.

Thank you for your understanding.

Before you visit, you must contact the IPU team on 01905 958163 to discuss visiting arrangements.

Please note: should Covid-19 infection levels or national guidance change, visiting arrangements may be altered.

Who can visit?

On admission, a member of the IPU team will talk to the patient and family to create a visiting care plan. This will include details of those people who are most significant to the patient and who they would most like to visit them.

Number of visitors at the bedside

Any two people can visit the patient each day between 2pm and 6pm.

To meet essential infection control measures, we will not be encouraging visitors who are aged 16 or under at this time. We welcome further discussion if this causes you concern. However, we will be suggesting virtual visiting by online or telephone call.

When a person is approaching the very end of their life, we will talk with their family and loved ones about how we can support more relaxed visiting times. However, due to the size of our rooms, this will still mean only two people visiting at any one time.

Visitor testing

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK, it’s never been more important to do all we can to keep each other, our patients, volunteers, and visitors safe.

Testing plays such a crucial role in helping us achieve this – alongside wearing face coverings, social distancing, washing our hands, and ventilating spaces with fresh air.

Visiting testing guidance is based on national, government testing guidance specifically for hospices.

  • We strongly recommend all visitors to take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before each visit to the In-patient Unit. If you are unable to take a test before arriving at the hospice, we can provide you with a test to complete before entering the building.
  • Please confirm your negative LFT result on arrival, either verbally – or by showing us your text/email confirmation. To support contact tracing, and to ensure we fulfil our public health duty, we will record your details and the results of any tests that you may have taken. This information will be kept for a month and then destroyed.
  • If the nature of your visit to a loved one means you are unable to take a test beforehand, please do not worry. We would recommend you take a test shortly after your visit.
  • You can source an LFT by post, at a test centre – or we can provide you with a test kit.

Testing remains key in the efforts against the spread of coronavirus, and is an important way to help us keep everyone at St Richard’s as safe as possible. Thank you for your patience, and understanding.

If you have any concerns about testing please don’t hesitate to contact the In-patient Unit on 01905 958163 and speak to a member of the team.

Arrival at the In-patient Unit

All visitors will be required to report to the IPU hub before entering their loved one’s room.

Each day, you will be asked brief screening questions – including the result of your LFT – to check if it is appropriate for your visit to continue.

Before entering your loved one’s room, you will be asked to use alcohol hand sanitiser before putting on your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

You will be provided with PPE of a face mask, apron and gloves to be worn during your time at the hospice. Please also follow social distancing measures.

Please do not visit if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. You will not be able to enter the building, or visit, if you have a high temperature, loss or change in taste or smell or a new, continuous cough. Anyone with these symptoms should follow national guidance, stay at home, and self-isolate for ten days.

Patients with Covid-19

If the patient has tested positive for coronavirus we would encourage ‘virtual visiting’ by video call or by telephone instead.

This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission, and we can help provide access to equipment to support this in the hospice.

If you decide to visit we will outline the risks to you and on your return home you will need to self-isolate according to Government rules. You will be asked to wear a surgical face mask, gloves and apron at all times if visiting a patient with suspected/known Covid-19.

Outside visits, although not ideal through the winter, may be allowed following discussion with the IPU team.

Staying in touch 

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. 

We have also set up an email address for you to send personal messages and photographs to your loved one at St Richard’s Hospice. Email your message to:

Alternatively, you can call our In-patient Unit on 01905 958163 and a member of the team will write down your message. You can call to leave your message Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm, and Saturday to Sunday 9.30am to 1pm.

Messages will be printed out and laminated, so they can be kept clean, and given to your loved one. If your loved one would like to send a reply, our IPU Team will help ensure their message is sent on to you. 

We regret that we are also unable to accept flowers for patients at the current time, due to stringent infection control measures in place.

How to get to the IPU and parking

We ask all visitors to the IPU to enter via our rear car park in Spetchley Road, Worcester. To reduce the risk of spreading infection, please do not enter via our main reception, off Wildwood Drive.

If you have any difficulty in accessing the car park, please call our In-patient Unit on 01905 958163.
Access is by a short walk through the garden to the rear of the hospice, where you will arrive at the temporary visitor reception and then be shown to the patient’s room through external patio doors.
Please bring any refreshments you may need during the visit.

Directions to rear car park: Use Postcode WR5 2LX

When you arrive at this postcode continue for about 100 yards and you will see large green gates on your left with St Richard’s Hospice sign.

OR from the hospice, turn right onto Wildwood Drive, at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Swinesherd Way A4440. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Whittington Road A44. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Spetchley Road. Continue along Spetchley Road and go straight over the mini roundabout. Continue until you see large green gates on your left with St Richard’s Hospice sign.

Thank you for your understanding.

In the hospice
car parking