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IMPROVING OUR IN-PATIENT WARD

A grant from the Department of Health through help the Hospices has funded a refurbishment project which will upgrade the hospices 15 single en suite bedrooms- this includes new windows, air conditioning in some rooms and upgrading of the bathrooms.

The work has enabled patients to have a sense of having "the outside in", enabling bedfast and ambulant patients to go outdoors onto individual weather protected patio areas.

The patio areas have been landscaped to fit in with the patio windows on the garden side of the unit.

Meadow House inpatient ward has 15 single rooms. Each room has a flat screen TV with all SKY channels available free to the patients/visitors. The ward is centrally located on the site, with direct access to the garden via the conservatory.

We strive to ensure that the ward is a welcoming, nurturing environment, but we are aware that many patients and their families may have anxieties regarding being admitted to ‘a hospice’ since there can be misconceptions about exactly what happens in such a place. For some people the belief is that once a patient is admitted to the hospice there is no going back. In fact, our length of stay is in line with the national average of just under a fortnight, and we discharge 60% of the patients we admit.  

 
Why are patients admitted to the hospice?
Sometimes it becomes harder for patients to manage at home, either because things are deteriorating medically, or those involved in the day to day care become weary or stressed. We admit patients for 3 main reasons.  
 
  1. Planned/review of care
  2. Symptom control/assessment
  3. Terminal care
Other things which you should know about inpatient care at Meadow House:
 
Bedrooms
We have 15 single bedrooms, all of which include en suite toilet, washing facilities and a refrigerator. There is a Sky television system in each room for which there is no charge.

The conservatory is fully equipped to allow patients’ beds to be accommodated if patients are bedbound but would still like to spend some time out of their room.

Meals
The timetable for meals is as follows:

Breakfast – 8.00am
Morning coffee – 10.30am
Lunch – 12-12.30pm
Afternoon tea – 3.00pm
Supper – 5-5.30pm
Evening drink – 9.30pm

Patients choose from the menu in advance and special diets are catered for on request. Your visitors are welcome to bring you food that we do not supply. Each room has a refrigerator. There is a microwave oven, a refrigerator and hot water dispenser in the relatives’ room, unfortunately staff cannot reheat food due to the risk of food poisoning, but you are welcome to do so.
 
During your stay at Meadow House the dietician is available to give you advice on diet, or offer supplementary drinks to increase your nutritional intake.
 
Appetite
When people are unwell they often have a very small appetite, or do not fancy eating or drinking at all. This is very common and we would encourage you to eat only as much as you feel able, or to try ‘little and often’. Please do not hesitate to speak to a member of the nursing staff if you or your family have concerns about eating.
 
Alcohol
Patients on the unit can consume alcohol, and from time to time drinks will be offered prior to meals to increase your appetite. You are welcome to bring in your own favourite tipple but we do like you to keep within the Government recommendations for safe daily limits of
alcohol consumption.
 
Personal Laundry

The on-site laundry facilities are for emergencies only. We would request that all routine laundry is done by carers’ or relatives at home. The Hospice does not normally supply clothing. 

Visitors
You are very welcome to have visitors and we do hope that you and your friends will make sure you are not overtired by too much  company in unsociable hours.  In view of this, we suggest visits between 11am and 8pm and no more than 4 people at  any one time.  You can discuss visiting hours/arrangements with the nurse in charge.

Please ensure that all visitors sign in and out at the Main Reception between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, or at the back entrance outside of these hours.  Children are welcome but must be supervised by an adult  at all times including when they are in the garden.

If you have guests who need to visit out of hours, please agree this in advance with the nurse in charge.  Similarly, overnight stays must be arranged in advance.  We do have a number of ‘Z beds’ for visitors staying overnight.  As we are a small unit with limited resources, there is a limit of 2 persons staying overnight per patient.

If you are staying overnight we would ask you to consider other patients’ needs and the fact that in the case of an emergency, the staff will have primary responsibility to their patients.  If staying overnight, we request visitors bring minimal personal belongings to ensure staff have full access to carry out patient care in the rooms.

The visitors’ room  is also linked into our television system and is equipped with a kettle, fridge, microwave and toaster with washing up facilities and a visitors’ lavatory. We do not have a visitors’ shower or bath.

 

 

‘After Hours’ Access to Meadow House for Visitors

We cannot provide food for visitors but in Ealing Hospital there is a restaurant, a coffee shop and the Friends of Ealing Hospital snack bar all sell food throughout the day. Mon-Fri 8.30am—5pm and Sat 12pm—2.30pm.

Meadow House main entrance is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4.30pm. At other times, access is via the rear of the building, which is on the opposite side of the building, reached by going through the car park between 
Ealing hospital and the hospice. A covered walkway leads to the back door of the hospice. Press the entry phone button marked Meadow House’ and when answered state whom you are visiting. The door will open outwards automatically. Once inside the building, please sign in. If the door is not answered immediately, it may be that the nurses are busy in the rooms. Please be patient.
 
Parking and Transport
Parking spaces are limited and it is advisable to allow extra time before an appointment.   We do advise our patients, where possible, to arrive by public transport.

A 24-hour visitor pay and display car park is provided at the front of the hospital.The charge is £4.00 for up to four hours.   A weekly pay and display permit can be purchased for £24.00.  A few extra spaces are also available outside the entrance to the maternity unit.

 

Please note that any vehicle not displaying a valid pay and display ticket will be clamped and the release fee is £50.
Free parking spaces for registered disabled drivers are situated by the main entrance.                     

Telephones
There is a trolley telephone for outgoing calls. Incoming calls are received on a lightweight cordless phone, which patients can take into their rooms. The telephone number is:

020 8574 6323   
Postal Service
Your mail should be addressed with your full name to:

In-Patient Unit
Meadow House
Uxbridge Road
Southall
Middlesex UB1 3HW 
Library service
Meadow House has a small collection of books on a library trolley, which are available on request.  
 
Newspapers
 
Patients can let a member of staff know if they would like a newspaper. Papers must be paid for daily.
 
Hospital Shop
 
A shop selling sweets, stationery and toiletries is situated in the main entrance of Ealing Hospital. There is also a restaurant in the hospital and snack bars run by the Friends of Ealing Hospital at the main entrance and in the Outpatients department.
 
Smoking
Smoking is not allowed in the Hospice. Patients are allowed to smoke in the garden, if safe to do so unassisted, but not inside the hospice building.  Please note that this is at the nurses’ discretion since clinical duties, or personal reasons may mean that, at times, there is not a member of staff available to supervise smoking.
 
Planning your return home
 
For patients not undergoing terminal care, our aim from the beginning of an admission is usually to try to get the patient home or, if that is not possible, into a nursing home. This sometimes surprises patients and families, particularly if the patient has been sent to us from a hospital.

The reason we do this is to ensure that there is sufficient time to liaise with Community and other services. This can be a complex process and we try to make sure that transitions between different care environments happen as smoothly as possible.
 
The process of decision making works like this: each week, we have a meeting which is attended by the whole multi-professional team. Starting from the central point of what we believe the patient’s wishes to be, we take into account whether the clinical situation is stable or very unpredictable. We try to reach a professional group decision about what we are going to recommend about each patient’s ongoing care. All our decisions are communicated to the patient and family and there is always plenty of time for discussion and debate.
 
It is inevitable that, at times, differences of opinion may emerge. We then do as much as we can to find an acceptable and workable compromise, knowing that we cannot always predict exactly how situations may develop and shift. Every case is different and we therefore do our best to try to find a solution specifically tailored to each situation. In general terms, patients whose condition is very stable tend to be discharged, whilst those whose condition is changing rapidly do not.  
Getting Home
 
Transport home can be provided if patient are unable to provide their own, or if their physical condition means that special transport is needed. However, we do require a minimum of 48 hours notice in order to arrange transport and so this needs to be communicated clearly in good time.
 
In most cases we provide a two-week supply of medication with instructions and, if necessary, equipment will be arranged and dressings supplied.  
 
Discharge letters are sent to those concerned with the care at home such as the GP and District Nurse.
When at home
 
If any problems arise when you are at home, you may wish to contact your GP or District Nurse. They should be able to give you details about when they are available.

Out of hours you can call the marie Curie Rapid response Team on 020 8 967 5126. between the hours of 6pm and 7am Daily
 
If you wish to contact us, please note that our Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurses are only available in office hours. Either phone your Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse directly or contact Main Reception on the number given below.
 
You can get hold of us out of hours by phoning the In-Patient Unit number at the Hospice.
 
Useful telephone numbers
In-Patient unit – 020 8967 5597
Main reception Meadow House – 020 8967 5179
Patients’ ward phone number – 020 8574 6323

The Referrals Office is open Monday to Friday 08.30 – 16.00

Dedicated email for referrals: 
referralsmeadowhouse@nhs.net

Office phone number: 020 8 967 5758
Office fax: 020 8 967 5756

 

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