About the Inpatient Unit
The new Northern Ireland Hospice Inpatient Unit (IPU) opened in May 2016 – part of a £13m Dementia-friendly hospice re-build project that positioned our organisation as a world-leader in palliative care.
The state-of-the-art IPU is for patients who require palliative care for complex symptoms. We provide highly-trained specialist doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and volunteers to ensure the patient and family needs are fully supported.
The Inpatient Unit is not simply a place where patients are cared for at the end of life. Often patients come to the IPU for symptom management so that they can return to home to enjoy time with their loved ones.
The IPU houses 18 private en-suite bedrooms, each with a private garden and living space for family members. Each room is also fitted with hoists, televisions and furniture.
The Inpatient Unit Team
We realise that patients and people close to them need to feel supported; our Inpatient Unit (IPU) team is highly trained and qualified to ensure patients and their families receive the highest standards of care and support in a safe and comfortable environment at a difficult time when they may be feeling physically and emotionally distressed.
Our IPU team consists of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chaplains, social workers, complementary therapists, music therapist, artist in residence, housekeepers and volunteers. Our team is supported by administration and catering services.
The IPU Multidisciplinary Team brings together expertise and skills to ensure every aspect of care required by patients and their families are met. We call this Holistic Care whereby we not only look to ease symptoms such as pain, breathlessness or nausea but seek to ease emotional distress; social issues like supporting children and bereavement support and spiritual care which for some people is their faith for others it is their beliefs.
Who do we care for?
There may be a perception that Northern Ireland Hospice only cares for patients with cancer. However, Our Inpatient Unit and its facilities allow us to care for conditions beyond cancer. Our In-Patient Unit is also dementia-friendly, making sure it is suitable for patients with Dementia and cognitive disabilities.
Given the complex conditions of patients, Northern Ireland Hospice would tend to provide a higher ratio of nurses per patient than there may be in a busy hospital environment.
We also provide facilities for family members to make their stay comfortable, whether it’s a place to eat or a place to rest.
How are patients referred to Northern Ireland Hospice?
Referrals to Northern Ireland Hospice services usually come from the patient’s, doctor, district nurse, hospital consultant or specialist palliative care nurse. We have a referral criteria to ensure the correct patients are referred, patients are usually referred for management of severe symptoms or end of life care. Our team, especially our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists can support rehabilitation of some patients to help them safely maintain independence for as long as possible.
In the video below, Hilary MaGuire, Head of Adult Services, gives an overview of the NI Hospice Inpatient Unit.