THE first patients have been welcomed into a new extended and redeveloped In-Patient Unit (IPU) at St Richard’s Hospice.

The hospice has opened four new bedrooms with windows overlooking the garden and grounds, adding to the 13 single rooms and two double rooms already established.

Staff are hoping that the new rooms, which were re-configured out of a number of multiple bed rooms, will improve the experiences of patients and their families by offering greater privacy.

The extension also includes a second family sitting room, therapies room, nurses’ station, IPU manager's office, case conference room and doctor’s room.

Chief Executive Mark Jackson said: “The new extension has been carefully designed and is fresh, homely and light with plenty of space for patients and their visitors. It fits beautifully with the rest of the hospice and already fits in very well. It’s even more special that we can open the extension in our 30th anniversary year.

“We know single rooms are more popular with patients and families and we believe our extra bed availability will help prevent inappropriate admissions to the NHS acute or community hospitals. Many of our patients’ conditions are very complex and we can offer more compassionate, attentive and individual care in single rooms.”

It’s hoped that the changes will lead to a further 60 patients being cared for each year at the hospice.

Hospice patron Patricia Routledge CBE, was one of the first people to take a tour around the new rooms. She said: “There is a wonderful spirit in this place. I’ve met staff today that I first met years ago, still here – that sense of loyalty and commitment is really wonderful.”

For more information on St Richard’s Hospice, visit