In-patient Unit


Visiting the In-patient Unit (IPU)  

The reduction in the national alert level and government changes to the shielding guidance has allowed us to increase the number of visitors and the time they can spend with loved ones, whilst still meeting stringent infection control measures. (Please note that should Covid-19 infection levels or national guidance change, visiting arrangements may be altered.)

Please do not visit if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

From Monday, 6th July, a total of two family members can visit between 2pm and 6pm daily and compassionate visiting, as appropriate, after agreement with the IPU team.

All visitors will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – face masks, apron and gloves –  to be worn during their time at the hospice and are asked to follow social distancing measures. Please do not visit unless you have pre-arranged a time in advance after discussions 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.

To meet essential infection control measures unfortunately we will not be allowing visitors who are aged 16 or under on to the IPU at this time, however we will be encouraging virtual visiting as described above.

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:

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.

Coming to the hospice 

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.

Access is by a short walk through the garden to the rear of the hospice, where the visitor will arrive at the Visitor Entrance to be shown to the patient’s room through external patio doors.

Visitors are asked to bring any refreshments which they may need during the visit. Please do not hesitate to contact the IPU on 01905 958163 with any questions.

Thank you for your understanding. 



Find out more about our care in the In-patient Unit, see the rooms and gardens and discover more about how we care for patients in this short film.

(NB This film was made before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and therefore some of the services described may not be available at this time. The individual team’s involved in a patient’s care or loved one’s support will be given details of current services.)

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.