Hospice News

Reopening the Hospice's beds: our new way of working

07 Apr 2022

Patient Care

Director of Patient Care Chris Benson shares the good news: were working towards reopening our Inpatient Unit beds, and adapting how we work to provide the right care where our patients want to be.

The pandemic has caused a significant challenge to all our services over the last two years, and our staff have been so adaptable in keeping services running. The Inpatient Unit shut five beds to reduce costs as it is our most expensive service to run, and because staffing a 24-hour unit with constant sickness and self-isolation of staff was hugely challenging.

A view of an IPU room, from outside

However, it has also been a time of great learning, and rethinking how we can best serve our patients. With patients at times nervous of being admitted due to restrictions in the number of visitors they could have, we placed more of our doctor time in supporting our patients at home. This meant that we were able to admit other patients who wanted to come in for care in the last days of life. These patients often had fewer complex symptoms, and our nursing teams were able to care for them with very little doctor support.

I am very pleased to say that we are now at the point of beginning to reopen the five closed beds, and have started to recruit staff to be able to do so. As we reopen we will work slightly differently: ten of our beds will be led by our doctors for patients who often need significant medical support due to their symptoms, and five will be nurse-led beds for patients who just need excellent nursing care at end of life. Our Nurse Prescribers will lead on their care, with the doctors available for advice if needed.

We believe this will give our patients the best of both options, as it means that we can continue to put more doctor time into supporting the majority of our patients who wish to remain in their own homes or nursing homes.

We are immensely grateful for all your support. We know that we wouldn't be in the position of re-opening our beds without your ongoing help – it is invaluable.

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