Inpatient Services

Patients usually come into IPU for 7 to 10 days for pain and symptom control and then return home. The unit also provides end of life care and respite care.
The In-patient unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who aim to make each patients’ stay comfortable and pleasant. With a high ratio of staff to patients, we can ensure that every patient is given individual care and attention.

On arrival, the nursing staff will help you settle in, before asking you, or your carer/friend for information which will assist us in caring for you.

Please give any medication that you are taking to the nursing staff. We are not a long-stay unit. Most patients are admitted to the Hospice for approximately 7-10 days.

The multi-disciplinary team meet each morning to discuss and plan a programme of treatment and care. Patients are encouraged to be involved in the planning of their care. The Hospice runs on a flexible routine, which means time can always be made available to discuss your illness or worries with you and your carer/family.To ensure that you receive the best quality care and attention at all times the Hospice has a large team of people all working together to meet your requirements.


The Patient Care Team consists of:

  • Director of Patient Care and Service Development
  • Senior Hospice Physician
  • Hospice Physician
  • Clinical Sisters
  • Team of Nurses
  • Health Care Assistants
  • Physiotherapists
  • Complementary Therapists
  • Family Support Workers/Counsellors
  • Chaplain
  • Catering Staff
  • Housekeeping Staff
  • Administration
  • Trained Volunteers

The team is assisted by volunteers who have received basic training in patient care. We work closely with Macmillan Nurses, G.P.s, District Nurses and hospital Consultants who continue to be involved in your care.

Treatment Decisions

  • It is the policy of Butterwick Hospice that all treatments offered to patients under the care of the Hospice will, at all times, be appropriate for the individual patient.
  • The care and treatments offered by the Hospice will always aim to treat all aspects of the whole person; physical, social, psychological and spiritual.
  • All investigations, examinations and procedures will be explained clearly to you and carried out only with your consent.
  • Discussions will only take place between hospice staff and relatives/carers if you are willing for this to occur.
  • The views of relatives/carers are important and every effort will be made to establish these. However, views expressed by your relatives/carers will not override your wishes and are only given to staff as guidelines, not instructions.
  • Treatment at the Hospice can be best described as active, supportive care. This means the principal aim of treatment is to enhance your quality of life on a day to day basis.
  • Certain treatments (eg intravenous fluids, blood transfusions) are used where appropriate and it is felt after discussion with you, they would improve your quality of life. If you decide not to continue with treatment, your decision will be respected.
  • If you should experience an acute medical emergency (eg heart attack), active support care will continue to ensure that you are comfortable and free from pain and distress. You may be asked that if in the event of such an unexpected complication whether you would wish to be transferred to hospital.

In-Patient Unit Facilities

The in-patient unit facilities consist of:

· Four single rooms with en suite facilities

· Four private rooms with shared facilities

· One two bedded room with en suite facilities.

You will have your own locker with the facility to hang clothes and a set of drawers. However, Butterwick Hospice cannot accept responsibility for the loss of patients’ belongings and we ask patients not to keep large sums of money at the Hospice.

The Nurse Call System, which you should use to obtain assistance from the nursing team, will be explained upon your arrival. There is a Communal Lounge where your visitors are free to make tea or coffee (donations are welcome). There is access to the garden from this area. 



Not all rooms have baths/showers, but we have a Jacuzzi bath available and the timing of assisted baths and washes are negotiated by the nursing team with patients.



On admission, a nutritional assessment will be completed. This will inform us and our catering team of your likes and dislikes, and whether you are on a special diet etc. You will be offered a choice of menu each day. If, however, you wish for something different, our catering staff will do their best to oblige. Special diets are not a problem.

Hot and cold drinks are always available. A fridge is provided in the Communal Lounge for patients’ use and families may leave items that need refrigeration—please ensure your name and date are on each item. Staff are responsible under Health and Safety regulations for the disposal of items which have passed their ‘sell-by date’.



Colour television with remote control is available in each room.

Items available on request are:

· Library books

· Large print/audiobooks

· Toys for children

· Portable telephones

· Radio/CD player


There are several quiet areas in the Hospice where you and your relatives may like to talk in private. The Hospice has a private Family Room which can be used to accommodate arranged overnight guests as well as a comfortable, relaxing place to talk or unwind. This accommodation comprises of a twin-bedded room and a bathroom with shower. This facility is available at the discretion of the nurse in charge, but unfortunately, we cannot accommodate children overnight.

We ask that food and drink are not taken into or consumed in the Family Room. At times relatives may wish to stay overnight and to accommodate this some patient rooms have a sofa bed. Permission must be given by the Nurse in charge.

Relatives and friends may visit at any time, within considerations for other patients and staff. If you would like to limit your visitors at any time, just make your wishes known to the nursing staff.

Rest periods are essential and where there are a lot of visitors they may need to organise themselves into small groups, arranging their visiting times to allow you to rest.

We are happy to welcome children of all ages but they must be supervised by an adult at all times.

We can usually make arrangements for your pet to visit you, but the exercising and toileting of pets on hospice premises is a health hazard and strictly prohibited.

In the interest of Health and Safety, the Hospice must accommodate visitors effectively. If relatives are staying with patients overnight, with the agreement of the nurse in charge, it is important that between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am they inform a member of the nursing team if they are leaving the patient’s room for any reason. Relatives are requested to stay within the in-patient unit during these times. We need to know where relatives are in the building in case of an emergency. If a relative would like to visit the chapel or reception during these times this can be arranged with the nurse in charge, who will inform the night security team.

Visitors should apply alcohol gel, found in the dispenser near the entrance of the unit, upon entering and exiting the unit. Visitors can help prevent the spread of infection by washing hands regularly with soap and water. The staff and volunteers are committed to ensuring effective infection prevention. If you are unsure whether a member of staff or  a volunteer has washed or gelled their hands, don’t be afraid to ask.


The Hospice has a strict non-smoking policy for patients, staff and visitors. This applies across all hospice premises, both internal and external and includes e-Cigarettes.



The consumption of alcohol by visitors is not permitted and visitors arriving under the influence of alcohol may, in the interests of other patients and staff, be refused admission.



We can arrange for an interpreter to be available for our non-English speaking patients and their families.


Provision of Meals for Relatives and Visitors

Patients’ relatives and visitors are welcome in our dining room where a good selection of breakfasts, light meals, snacks and drinks are available and the menu and prices are displayed. Please note that meals required from the daily menu must be ordered by 10:30 am. The dining room is open from 8 am until 5.30 pm. The dining room service is not available on weekend afternoons.

Tea and coffee are available from the galley kitchen within the inpatient unit. 


Mobile Phones

Mobile phones can be used by patients and relatives within the building. Mobile phones should not be used in the corridors as this may disturb other patients and visitors.

In line with the Data Protection Act photographs of patients should not be taken without the patient’s permission. If a patient agrees to a picture being taken this must be done within the privacy of that patient’s room to avoid the possibility of other patients being included without their knowledge.



There is free parking available adjacent to the Hospice. If your visitor has any problems, please speak to a member of staff.


Patient Enquiries

Relatives and friends wishing to make patient enquiries should phone 01642 607742 and ask to speak to the Nursing team. If you have a large family or circle of friends who are likely to want to enquire after you, it would help us if only one or two people could be designated to contact us, then pass information onto others.

Main Reception is open 9 am- 5 pm, Monday-Friday. Outside of these hours, visitors will need to use the side entrance as directed and ring the doorbell to gain entry to the building. Visitors MUST sign in before seeing patients and sign out when leaving the building.



You are not confined to the Hospice during your stay. You may go out with your family for short periods or overnight provided it does not interfere with your treatment. Those considering overnight leave must give the clinical team 24 hours notice to ensure that all required medications are prepared and arrangements can be made.


Personal Requirements

You will need to bring with you; personal toiletries, nightclothes and a small number of day clothes. Please do not bring valuables or large sums of money to the Hospice with you. You do not need to bring towels or flannels.



Nursing staff will put all personal dirty laundry into a plastic bag for your relatives to take home and wash.


Going Home

We will help to organise your discharge from the Hospice. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer long-term care. If it is appropriate, we start planning your discharge as soon as you arrive so that any additional services or equipment you may require will be in place when you leave. We will talk to your family, district nurse and others involved in your care and inform them of your planned discharge. They will be given a summary of the treatment you have received in the Hospice. We will endeavour to ensure that you have the support you need once you are home.

You will be given a seven days supply of medicines and dressings. Please order a repeat prescription from your G.P. when you get home. Your G.P. will take over the responsibility of your care once you are discharged. Please do not contact the Hospice for medical advice if you are having problems. You must speak to your primary care team. The nursing staff will arrange transport to take you home if your family or friends are unable to help. If Day Care has been discussed you will be introduced to a member of Day Care staff who will discuss suitable arrangements.

Please note to access care from Butterwick Hospice a referral should be made by a a medical professional. For details of the referral criteria and process please get in touch.

If you would like more information about our In-patient Unit or referrals please contact the IPU Sister on 01642 607742.

Join an event