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What to expect if you’ve been referred to our specialist ward

What to expect if you’ve been referred to our specialist ward

“From the moment I arrived I was treated with dignity and respect. All the staff were super friendly and super helpful. The doctors were very kind and took their time to listen and explain about all the things they were doing.”

The doctors and nurses on our 24-hour ward are all specialists in palliative care. They’re very experienced at helping patients to manage symptoms. And we have a high staff to patient ratio, so there’s always someone close by if you need support.

The ward feels very different to a hospital. There’s a café area, complementary therapy room and garden. Meals are all freshly prepared. You’ll have your own TV, with a built in radio, and can borrow other entertainment electricals, such as a laptop and CD player. We also have plenty of books, CDs and DVDs for you to choose from.

We treat each patient as an individual. We care for both mind and body, so offer physical, psychological, social and spiritual care. We believe in maintaining your dignity and maximising your quality of life. Because every day matters.

When you first arrive, we’ll show you around and introduce you to the people who’ll be responsible for your care. A nurse and doctor will sit down with you to discuss your care and answer any questions you might have. Your treatment plan will be assessed every day, and suggested changes will be discussed with you, and your relatives if you wish. We also welcome questions. Please just ask if you or your family or friends want to arrange a time to sit down and talk with your medical team.

“The nursing team have been brilliant, they have such a caring attitude and nothing is too much trouble. No one wants to be referred to a hospice but if you are really ill and that sort of care is available to you, then take it.”


How long will I stay on the ward?

The length of your stay will depend on the care you need. We’re not a long-stay ward. Some patients are discharged after a couple of days; others are with us for a couple of weeks.

Sometimes, our ward is the best place for you to spend your final days, but half of our patients return home after their stay, or move to a longer-term care setting. We’ll plan this with you and your relatives or friends in advance to make sure you have the right support waiting for you.


What should I bring with me?

We provide towels, bed linen and flannels. To make your stay as comfortable as possible, we recommend that you bring:

  • Toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, tissues, shaving kit, toothpaste, etc
  • Nightwear, dressing gown and slippers
  • Comfortable indoor clothes
  • A small amount of money if you want to buy things like newspapers.
  • All the regular medication that you’re currently taking
  • A mobile phone and charger, if you have one

If you bring money or valuable items, please hand them to a nurse for safekeeping. You’ll be given a receipt. We can’t accept responsibility for the loss of property or damage to personal possessions.

If you want to bring in a mains powered electrical item, including a phone charger, it will need to be tested for safety before you can use it in the hospice.


Can family and friends visit me?

Your friends and relatives are welcome to visit at any time. We don’t have set visiting times at Searle House but do ask visitors to consider the needs of other patients and avoid certain times, such as meal times.


Can my pet come into the hospice?

Well-behaved pets are more than welcome to visit you at Searle House. Please just speak to one of your nurses beforehand. If you’re worried about finding someone to look after your pet when you come to the ward, The Cinnamon Trust may be able to help.


Can people call me on the ward?

You’re welcome to use your mobile phone on the ward. We ask patients and visitors to respect those around them while using your mobile phone. Your friends and family can also call us on 01392 688047 and we’ll pass the phone to you.


Can I celebrate a special occasion?

It’s important to celebrate special days with the people you love. Please just let us know if you have a birthday or anniversary coming up and we’ll do what we can to help.


Where can I get more information?

For more information, please ask for a copy of our patient booklet or download it here. You can also call us on 01392 688000 or email info@hospiscare.co.uk


More about your stay