for families facing terminal illness
Inpatient Ward

Inpatient Ward

Admission
Visiting Hours
Catering
Support

 

Patients facing a terminal illness sometimes have physical, emotional and spiritual problems that are not improving at home or in hospital. Short admission to the ward gives the team an opportunity to observe symptoms and the effect of treatments, with the aim of lessening their severity and frequency before transfer to another place of care. As well as symptom management, some patients may be admitted for care at the end of life or for respite care, where appropriate.

Our Inpatient Ward at the Hospice in Gravesend provides inpatient care for more than 200 patients per year from the age of 14. We provide specialist care to patients and their families in a warm and safe environment. Our team of staff aims to make stays comfortable by promoting a homely atmosphere, whilst providing the professional care patients need to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. We treat each patient individually and our care is centered around them and their families. Our nurses and doctors are experienced in palliative care and will ensure that care needs are met with dignity and respect.  

The average stay is between seven to 14 days, however, every person is different and the stay will be based on needs. Needs are assessed daily and patients are encouraged to express how they are feeling and ensure that they are involved in their future care. The hospice is not able to provide long term care placements; we can discuss alternative arrangements if this is needed. Discussions about discharge will commence when assessed as appropriate.

On admission, we ask about main contacts; who should be contacted first if needed and if patients are happy for us to share information with family members. If they want family members to be involved in providing care, we recommend speaking to a member of staff who can help achieve this.

Admission
There are a few things which we suggest patients bring with them to help make their stay at the Hospice more comfortable:

  • Current medication (including packets where possible)
  • Nightwear and day clothes
  • Toiletries such as shaving equipment, shower gel, soap and tissues
  • Favourite things like pillows, photos, soft toys, books, DVDs, blankets etc
  • Preferred soft drinks and confectionary
  • Loose change to buy items from the coffee shop
  • Mobile phones and other electrical equipment - can be used in the hospice but chargers must be tested prior to use

There is no need to bring towels as we provide these.

The ward has free Wi-Fi access for patients to use their own laptops or if required, a loan of one maybe arranged from the Hospice during their stay. We also have a shared fridge and our phone can be used for calls within the UK, if needed.

ellenor is unable to accept any responsibility for personal belongings.

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Visiting Hours
Our visiting hours are flexible, however staff may need to restrict visits from time to time in order to meet the individual needs of patients and we ask to consider other patients when visiting. There is car parking  for visitors to use and visitors will be asked to leave their registration details at reception when signing-in. Large families may need to take it in turns at the bedside; the conservatory, quiet room and ‘The Green’ may be used for waiting by family members when not in use.  The front door is locked between 9pm and 9am. Those wishing to visit outside of these times, should ring the bell outside of reception.

To respect the needs of all our patients and families we ask that everyone:

  • Uses the hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser on the wall as entering and leaving the ward
  • Respects the building, staff and volunteers that work within it. Please be aware that staff can sometimes be very busy dealing with patients’ needs, they will as quick as they can
  • Signs in and out when visiting. Everyone is given a badge to be worn during the stay and returned when leaving
  • Children are very welcome at ellenor when accompanied and remain the responsibility of an adult, and must be supervised at all times. Toys, books and games are available; please speak to a member of staff for further information
  • We have facilities for family members to stay overnight. Please ask a member of staff for more details
  • We encourage visitors to walk around the gardens
  • There is a refreshment area where visitors can make a drink. A donations box is available to support this facility
  • We welcome comments and suggestions as these help us to improve our facilities and services. There is a box in reception where comments can be left

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Catering
The staff will do a dietary assessment to identify preferences and needs, they will liaise with the catering staff and arrange for a discussion with the chef if needed. There is a small fridge where food items can be stored, these should be labelled. 

Meal times are:

Breakfast 8.30 - 10am
Lunch 12.30 - 1pm
Dinner 5.30 - 6pm

Outside these mealtimes, staff or volunteers are happy to make snacks. Visitors can order food from the ward volunteer or coffee shop; there is a charge for this. 

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Support
Our Inpatient Ward is fully supported by all members of the ellenor team. More information on these services can be found within the following links: therapies, spiritual, patient and family support and support for carers.

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Referral
Information and Leaflets 
We have provided brief descriptions of our services on the website, however further information can be found in our Information and Resources library.