St Raphael’s, which has been at the centre of palliative and end of life care services in Merton and Sutton since 1987, has given its Inpatient unit (IPU) a much-needed refresh.

This has been a complex logistical exercise which has been planned for many months in order to minimise disruption to the care and support of patients and families whilst enabling the work to proceed.

Nick Stevens, Joint CEO at St Raphael’s Hospice said: “The IPU refresh is part of our drive for “excellence” and included low energy LED lighting, new radiators and flooring, a full re-decoration and new digital-audio-visual equipment to provide the choices our patients might be used to at home. A new ventilation system has also been installed to improve air-handling for the en-suite facilities. Earlier in the year, the patios outside each patient room were re-laid for improved accessibility with new garden furniture, scented climbers and flowers so that patients and families can enjoy spending time outside when the weather allows. In 2019, we installed air-conditioning units in all the patient rooms which has been really important during the recent hot days.”

Gail Linehan, Joint CEO at St Raphael’s Hospice, added: “Our aim is to ensure that everyone admitted to the Hospice comes into a comfortable and welcoming environment as well as providing them with the expert individualised care from our passionate staff team. In other words, to make their stay as good as it can possibly be.”

To undertake the work, the Hospice closed to admissions for five weeks. We were supported by our neighbouring hospices, Royal Trinity Hospice and St Christopher's Hospice and our Community Palliative Care Team continued to support people at home pro-actively with the benefit of extra medical and nurse support re-deployed from the IPU. It was a real team effort.

The updated and refreshed IPU is now fit for the future and re-opened to accept admissions on August 31st.

Here is a short video illustrating the transformation: