Why we needed to rebuild our Inpatient Unit

We developed our Inpatient Unit to meet the more acute clinical needs of patients, changes in palliative care and to make the stay more comfortable for patients, families and friends.

St Peter’s Hospice plays a central role in palliative care services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Through a range of services we have cared for over 30,000 people in the last 20 years and needed to respond to best serve the current and future needs of patients. These are some of the reasons why we needed to rebuild our Inpatient Unit:

  • The population of Bristol is growing and people are living longer. There is, and will continue to be, a greater call on our services going forward. Recent changes in palliative care in Bristol also place greater pressure on St Peter’s Hospice.
  • The needs of those nearing the end of their life are more medically complex and will continue to become increasingly so.
  • Our IPU provides short-term admissions for assessment and management of complex symptoms and care needs when these cannot be met at home, in a nursing home or even in hospital. There has been a 20% increase in referrals over the last two years and in 2015/16 the IPU treated 329 patients with increasingly complex medical conditions including dementia and non-cancer diagnoses.
  • In 2015/16 bed occupancy was 76% as 12 beds were in twin rooms which increasingly could not be shared due to patient confusion, infection risks, and other challenges arising from the complexity of needs.
  • We have grown our Hospice at Home service which enables us to support many more people at home but a proportion of patients will always require inpatient hospice care.
  • There was a pressing need to re-develop the inpatient unit to meet patient expectations around privacy, dignity and comfort and the needs of visiting family and friends.

This project ensured that St Peter’s Hospice will be able to provide local people with the very best palliative care to the highest professional standards within an environment of care, comfort, compassion and respect for the next 20 years.