Before you arrive…
Whether you’ve been referred, need to prepare for, are arriving or are currently staying as an inpatient, below are some Frequently Asked Questions you or your relatives may have. If you have a question that isn’t answered in our inpatient FAQs, please feel free to call us on 01252 729400
Preparing to come to the In-Patient Unit (IPU)
Q: How will I get to the IPU?
A: This will be discussed with you when an admission to the IPU is offered. If you are able to make your own travel arrangements that will be fine, if not then transport will be arranged for you.
Q: What do I need to bring with me?
A: You will need to bring your own toiletries, nightwear, day clothes, slippers and shoes. It is important that you have things that are familiar to you, so you are also welcome to bring in any photos or personal effects that are important to you.
Please bring with you any medicines, dressings and any other items relating to treatments you may be having at home, such as: tube feeds, feed pumps, pleurX drain bottles and anything else relevant to your care.
If you are unsure about what to bring, please speak to the IPU for further advice. We are very happy for you to use your mobile phone on the ward but please remember to bring your charger, as we do not have these available. Please set this to a quiet setting before arriving at the In-Patient Unit.
We provide mains powered electrical items such as radios, televisions and hair dryers so don’t worry about these. Please try not to bring large amounts of money or valuables with you as we cannot easily store these for you.
Q: Will I be allowed to smoke?
A: There is a no smoking policy in the building and surrounding grounds, so please smoke offsite and be mindful of disposing of any cigarette ends considerately.
Arriving at the IPU
Q: What will happen when I arrive at the In-Patient Unit?
A: On arrival, the friendly Reception staff will show you to the In-Patient Unit on the second floor.
On admission to the IPU, you and your family will be greeted by a nurse and shown to your bed area. Once settled, we will make sure you are comfortable and offer you and your family a cup of tea, coffee or other refreshment. If you have any medications, please give them to the nurse who has welcomed you.
During your first day you will be seen by a doctor and nurse, during which time we will ask you to share with us your thoughts regarding your admission, what you want us to achieve for you whilst you are with us and how we, as a team, can care for your personal needs in the way that is most comfortable for you.
Caring for you on the IPU
Q: Who will be looking after me during my stay?
A: You will be looked after by the members of the team, which comprises many people, all of whom are specialists in palliative care.
Our medical team is made up of a number of consultants, specialty doctors, and GP assistants who are all specialists in palliative medicine and bring wide-ranging experience from both general practice and hospital medicine backgrounds.
As well as directly caring for patients, one of our other main roles is training junior doctors and medical students, who will form part of the team at any given time. The whole team is skilled in assessing all symptoms, including wound management, mobility needs, specialist feeding requirements and bladder and bowel management.
Q: Will I be able to talk to people about my care?
A: You will be seen by a doctor every weekday, and as required at weekends. They will discuss with you your plan of care, symptom management and any other worries or concerns you might have.
Our specialist nurses will listen to your preferences for how you want your personal care to be managed and will write a personalised care plan specific to your needs. This can be altered if your needs change. Your comfort and wellbeing are our primary concern, and the team is available for you and your family to speak with at any time, should you wish to discuss any issues, worries or concerns.
Q: What other specialists might I be seen by?
A: Our team includes specialist physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers who will work with you. They will consider the physical, psychological and social factors that influence you and aim to help you make the best of your abilities, by helping you to set realistic goals with regard to the things that are important to you.
Q: What happens if I cannot do things for myself?
A: The team is very experienced in caring for people who may have complex symptoms and needs. We have specialist equipment that may enable you to bath or shower, or we can maintain your hygiene needs whilst you remain in bed.
Q: Will I see any other therapists?
A: As part of the team we also have complementary therapists who can offer a range of relaxation and holistic therapies, such as massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. These treatments can help to relieve stress and tension, and may be beneficial for both you and your family. Our Pastoral Care team are also available to talk to you should you want to speak to them.
Q: What happens about food and meals?
A: All food is prepared on site and is of a very high standard. We will always do everything in our power to cater for you, our team will discuss our menus with you and offer you an alternative if there is nothing that appeals to you.
Q: What will happen if I cannot eat the food or I am not hungry?
A: We are able to cater for special diets, which we can discuss with you on admission. If you are not hungry when a meal is prepared it can be kept for you until you feel that you would like it, or a fresh meal will always be prepared for you if you want one.
Q: Are there times when I can get refreshments?
A: A refreshment trolley for teas, coffees, soft drinks, cakes and biscuits comes around the IPU in the morning and the afternoon.
Caring for family and friends at the IPU
Q: When can my friends and family visit me?
A: Visiting times are no longer restricted, however we encourage a maximum of 2 people at the bedside at one time.
It is very helpful if friends can avoid visiting at busy times, such as mealtimes, unless of course the patient would like some help from them at this time. Family will of course be welcome to stay throughout the day and evening.
We ask that all visitors let our ward receptionist know that they have arrived at the IPU. Our staff will then check that the patient is able to see visitors; sometimes they might be very tired and not feel up to being visited. If this is the case, we will politely ask family or friends to return later.
Q: Is there parking available for visitors?
A: We have a free car park for all visitors; alternatively there is free parking on neighbouring roads.
Q: Is there a restaurant for visitors to get a meal?
A: Unfortunately there is no dining room for relatives and friends. In certain circumstances, we can provide meals for family and friends if they have travelled a long way and if we provide meals for other visitors we would ask for a suitable donation to cover the costs. There is a Family Room with light refreshments and visitors are very welcome to bring in a take-away meal to eat themselves or share with the patient they are visiting. We have facilities for patients’ families to stay overnight. This would need to be discussed with a member of the nursing staff in advance.
Q: Will I be able to see my pet?
A: It can be arranged for your pet to visit you on the IPU if you would like, but please discuss this with a member of the team prior to bringing the pet in.