The in-patient unit is situated in the main hospice building at Turnchapel, Plymstock, where there are 20 inpatient beds, comprising four 4-bed wards and four single rooms.
Most of the rooms look out onto the beautiful surroundings of the Plymouth Sound and all beds have their own television. St Luke's Hospice aims to make a patients visit as relaxed and as private as possible.
Phone calls can be taken at the bedside and there is also a payphone available. There is free car parking and a hospice coffee shop with light snacks for visitors.
The hospice has a no-smoking policy for staff, relatives and carers but there is a smoking room available for patients.
Referrals are taken from health care professionals and prioritised on the basis of patient need for symptom control, psychosocial support or terminal care.
St Luke's approach to care is holistic, centred on the needs of the individual patient.
Care is provided by a large multidisciplinary team, which includes doctors, nurses, complementary therapists, Lymphoedema nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a chaplaincy team, and a social care team.
There is a doctor on call for the unit at all times (although not resident at night). The hospice does not have resuscitation facilities and in the event of a sudden unexpected deterioration in a patient’s condition, we would generally aim to provide supportive care to ensure that the patient is comfortable and free from pain and distress.
If more active treatment were felt to be appropriate, an urgent transfer to Derriford Hospital would be made.
There are no X-Ray/CT/MRI facilities at the hospice, but we can access these and other investigations at Derriford Hospital.
In the year from April 2007 to March 2008 we had 434 admissions, and around half of these patients were discharged after their symptoms were addressed. Some patients were admitted more than once during this time and the average length of stay on the unit was 11 days.