In-patient Unit


Visiting the In-patient Unit (IPU)  

We are following national guidance to protect patients, visitors and staff from the spread of the coronavirus during the current lockdown restrictions and beyond to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible.

This means that we have had to make changes to who, how and when people visit the In-patient Unit. Thank you for your understanding.

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

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

Who can visit?
A member of the IPU team will talk to the patient and family to create a visiting care plan. This will include details of any family household ‘support bubble.’  The Government describes a ‘support bubble’ as a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

Number of visitors at the bedside:

Any two people from the patient’s own household can visit each day between 2-6 pm (this means two different members of a large household may visit on different days)

or if the patient lives alone, then two people from their support bubble (one household only) may visit each day between 2pm and 6pm, as above.

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

Visiting is between 2pm and 6pm daily.

If the patient is staying for end of life care, visiting times may be extended after discussion with the hospice clinical team. This will be documented on the care plan so that everybody caring for the patient knows who the visitors will be.

Arrival at the In-patient Unit
Visitors to the IPU will be asked brief screening questions to check if it is appropriate for you to enter. Before entering your loved one’s room, you will be asked to use alcohol hand sanitiser. All visitors will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – face masks, apron and gloves – to be worn during your time at the hospice and are asked to follow social distancing measures.

You will be met by a staff member in personal protective equipment (PPE) at the IPU garden gazebo, which is our temporary IPU visitor reception. They will give you advice & assistance about appropriate use of PPE before being shown to your loved one’s room via the garden entrance.

When you leave, please put your apron, gloves and mask (if not your own) in the outside bin provided and cleanse your hands with the available alcohol gel.

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 stay at home and self isolate for at least ten days.

Patients with Covid-19
If the patient has tested positive for coronavirus we would encourage ‘virtual visiting’ by video online 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 with your loved one on IPU

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.  Read our leaflet with advice on ways to stay in touch.

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. You can download a message template here and email it to: [email protected]

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 access the In-patient Unit and parking
We’re asking all visitors to the IPU to enter via our rear car park in Spetchley Road,Worcester WR5 1RZ. 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.

Thank you for your understanding. 


(Please note some elements of our service may have changed to follow Covid-secure guidelines.)

We can care for 17 patients at any one time in the In-patient Unit in 13 single rooms and two 2-bedded rooms. All have en-suite facilities and access to their own private patio area overlooking the garden and countryside.

The rooms are designed to be as comfortable and homely as possible, each bed has its own entertainment unit with TV and DVD player, with information and reading material available.

Patients and relatives can find out more by downloading our booklet:

What kind of care does the In-patient Unit provide?
The In-patient Unit provides specialist palliative care. This means we will provide patients with individual, ‘whole person’ care which is needed to promote and maintain the best quality of life possible. The care provided takes into account the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the patient and family.

Who will care for me? During a stay, patients will be cared for by members of the hospice team, which is made up of doctors, nurses, social worker, counsellors, chaplain, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, Citizens Advice Bureau Advisers and many others depending on a patient’s needs.

Can my relatives/friends come and see me?

Please see above on this page for updated advice for visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.

How and why patients are referred to the In-patient Unit?
After discussion with a patient and their family, the team of nurses and doctors who are caring for them on a day-to-day basis will have decided that the patient would benefit from a stay on the In-patient Unit.

Patients may be admitted for several reasons, usually for the management of symptoms or for end of life care.  Many patients return home or to an appropriate place of care, for example a nursing home.

How long can I stay as an in-patient? 

Many people find that a relatively short period of in-patient care makes a real difference to how they are feeling and enables them to return home feeling more comfortable.

St Richard’s has 17 beds and there is a high demand for them. This means we cannot be a permanent alternative to care either in your own home, your care home or nursing home. If your symptoms are well managed but it would be difficult for you to go back to your own home, then we will always help you and your family and friends to find other places where you can continue your care.

How can I be referred?

Patients who would like support from St Richard’s can be referred by their GP, consultant, district nurse or health care professional. Patients, or a person close to them,  can also speak to our Gateway referral team themselves for information or advice.

In all cases the GP, who is the key person in charge of that patient’s care, will be contacted. We will then phone to arrange a convenient date and time to visit so that we can discuss and plan the support that we can offer and the care that may be needed. At all stages we will work in partnership with the community teams and acute hospital services involved in the patient’s care.

If you would like more information about referral please contact our Gateway Team on 01905 763963.

Healthcare professionals please go to our Information for Referrers page for more information and referral form.

Illegal substances

St Richard’s has a zero tolerance policy for illegally procured drugs. Please do not bring any illicit substances, including cannabis, onto St Richard’s premises. Any patients or visitors who refuse to comply with this policy will be discharged or asked to leave, and the hospice Crime Prevention Police Officer will be informed.