The inpatient unit has 15 individual rooms. Each room has en-suite facilities, an individual fridge and a television with access to Sky TV. There is a large secluded garden and a conservatory where beds can be accommodated.
Visitors are always welcome at Meadow House and there are no enforced visiting times. Visitors can use the sitting room which has a television, microwave and facilities for making hot drinks. We also have a peaceful and attractive garden which is for the use of patients, families and friends.
We do support family members to stay overnight in certain circumstances but this must be agreed with staff beforehand.
Children are always welcome on the ward, and we expect them to be supervised by a responsible adult (not including the patient who they are visiting) at all times.
We also welcome pets onto the ward if this is important for the patient. All pets must be closely supervised and on a lead at all times. We reserve the right to review visiting by pets if there is an infection issue or in the case of any undue disruption.
We prioritise admissions to the inpatient unit according to need. We admit patients from any care environment (home, nursing home or hospital) for symptom control or terminal care. Referrals are discussed at daily meetings and the referrer will normally be informed about the outcome of the referral discussion. We sometimes require extra information before accepting a referral and in rare cases decline the admission on the grounds that the patient’s needs cannot be met by us at the time of referral.
Patients are normally admitted Monday to Friday, 9am to 2.30pm. A doctor and/or a consultant plus nursing staff will review the patient on admission. Patients are reviewed daily by a doctor during the working week. There are 2 consultant ward rounds per week.
We encourage patients and families to talk to the medical and nursing staff during the patient’s stay. Before discharge, particularly if the patient’s overall condition has changed considerably, we often offer a ‘family meeting’. Family members and carers are invited to discuss the details of discharge and how the patient will be cared for afterwards.
We discharge 60% of patients admitted to the ward. However, many patients find that their condition is deteriorating and so they may have increasing care needs which can no longer be provided in their usual place of residence. If this is felt to be the case, ward staff will discuss this informally or at a family meeting. Unfortunately, round the clock care is not usually provided at home by statutory services (NHS and Social Services). This means that some of our patients are discharged to nursing homes after their admission to the hospice.