Frequently Asked Questions
You may have questions about coming to The Hospice of St Francis, or accessing our care. Hopefully you will find the relevant answers below, otherwise please do call us on 01442 869550.
You can also have a look round the Hospice by watching our 360 tour.
Staying at our Inpatient Unit - FAQs
Why has my doctor suggested I come into the Hospice to stay?
People come in for many reasons. Many patients come in for help with a particular symptom such as pain or breathlessness. Some patients are admitted to give their close family a break from their care, while some patients come in right at the end of their life. We will discuss the goals of your admission with you when you arrive
If I come into the Hospice, will I ever get home?
Again, in the past, hospices focused mostly on care in the final days. Now, however, over 60% of our patients come in for a short admission to get help with a particular problem. They then go home again and might get readmitted later in the illness. However we are certainly no longer a place just for the final days of life
Do you have a waiting list?
Because we are a short stay unit, beds become available all the time and a bed can often be offered either as an emergency or within a few days. The Hospice Team is always aware of who is waiting for a bed and will offer a bed to the patient who needs it most. If there is a delay before your admission we will keep you informed and offer alternative help wherever possible
Can my family stay with me?
We recognise that, when you are seriously ill, members of your family might want to be close to you 24 hours a day. There are facilities for close family to stay overnight especially when the situation requries. Families can stay either in a recliner chair next to your bed or in a special relatives’ overnight room just along the corridor.
Can I stay in The Hospice of St Francis long term?
Unfortunately we are not able to provide long term care. However, each patient is considered individually and, if you are not well enough to go back to your own home, then we will work with you and your family to look at the best alternative, which might include a care home placement. We plan discharges very carefully and will keep you involved in all decisions
What are the visiting times?
We welcome visitors at any time but try to have a quieter hour after lunch between 1.30 and 2.30. We would encourage you to discuss visitors with your nurses if you have any anxieties about having too many visitors or if there are particular people you would like us to contact.
Can I smoke in The Hospice of St Francis?
There is a small smoking room on the inpatient unit for PATIENTS ONLY. If visitors smoke we would respectfully ask them to step outside into the garden.
What do I need to bring into the Hospice?
It would be helpful if you brought in all your medication which you are currently taking, together with any district nursing notes or folders that are in the house. We also recommend day clothes and night clothes, a toilet bag and dressing gown, together with anything else that will keep you occupied during your stay. We do suggest nothing valuable as it is quite a busy building, so perhaps just a small amount of money for newspapers and snacks. Each bedroom has a TV and we can order newspapers for you.
I am very attached to my dog – can somebody bring him to visit me?
We welcome pets onto our Inpatient Unit! However they will obviously need supervision throughout the visit and we ask that they are kept on leads while in the gardens.
Is there anything for my children to do when they visit me?
We do have lots of toys in our lounge and a computer which visitors can use. Visiting children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
I want to send my family emails when I am in the Hospice – is that possible?
We now have a laptop and wireless internet access for patients and visitors to use on the Inpatient Unit. The nurses will give you the password!
Can I use a phone while staying in the Hospice?
You can use your own mobile. You will also have a phone in your bedroom on which you can receive calls and from which you can make external local calls
Care at Home - FAQs
What exactly will my St Francis Specialist Nurse do?
Your nurse will get to know you and try to understand how your illness is affecting your life and your family. They will be interested, not just in the physical problems, but in the emotional and social problems related to your illness and will help to support you through some of these issues.
They might also refer you to different members of the Hospice team, a Hospice doctor or a complementary therapist, or ask for a physiotherapist to assess you.
Can my nurse stay overnight with me?
Our nursing team is an advisory and supportive service. If you need nursing care or supervision overnight, our nursing team will help to organise that care if it is available
How will I know who to ring?
Your St Francis Specialist Nurse will explain to you which numbers to ring day or night and who to ring for different sorts of help.