Specialists in palliative care

Inpatient Ward

While you are staying with us our priority is to create a calm and peaceful environment where you can rest and feel comfortable.

We pride ourselves on giving the highest standards of care to the patients on the ward, and their families. Everyone is important and we want to make sure you feel that too.

What does the Inpatient Ward provide?

It provides care for patients and their families so that they can hopefully feel well enough to go home again, or stay with us for end of life care: not everyone who comes to St John’s Hospice comes here to die – very many go home again. We provide care for people with a range of life shortening illnesses such as cancer, respiratory diseases, heart conditions, Parkinson’s and many other diseases.

Our ward provides short stay care, from days to weeks, depending on your needs and what care other teams can provide for you.

The Ward Staff you will meet

During your stay there are different people involved in your care. These are referred to as the “Multi-Disciplinary Team” (MDT). This means that the care we provide is individualised to meet your physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. There is a large range of staff, all dedicated to looking after you and your family , including:

Our Nurses

A large team of Registered Nurses, Assistant Practitioners and Healthcare Assistants who are experienced in providing a high standard of palliative and end of life nursing care.

Our Doctors

The medical team, including Advanced Nurse Practitioners work on the ward and are experienced in managing symptoms and supporting people with life shortening conditions.

Complementary Therapies

Our complementary therapist offers short sessions alongside your usual nursing and medical care to help you cope emotionally, physically and mentally. It may help ease physical symptoms too, as well as helping with sleep and rest.


Our physiotherapist can help with symptoms such as pain, breathlessness, fatigue, reduced mobility, loss of strength or function and other neurological, respiratory and muscular-skeletal symptoms. Patients are assessed according to their individual needs and a treatment plan is formulated.

Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapist focuses on helping you function, aiming to help your independence and wellbeing through fatigue management, task analysis and goal setting as much as possible.
The two St John's Hospice social workers smiling to camera.

Social Work

We employ two Social Workers. The Social Workers work as part of the multidisciplinary team providing support with discharge planning, family support, advice and information regarding social care matters and funding pathways. The Social Workers are also involved with groups and can signpost to community resources. The Social Workers at St John's are committed to person centred care.

The Family Therapy team

This team supports patients and families through talking therapies, spiritual care and bereavement support. You may wish to talk to someone about your beliefs, maybe your fears, faith or worries about the future. They offer a friendly listening ear and time to chat about what matters to you, and support you irrespective of what you believe or follow. They can also put you or your family in touch with community ministers or faith leaders. They offer support on the ward and also through our monthly Grief Café, group activities, and one-to-one support when needed.

Our Chapel

We also have a non-denominational space on site which you are welcome to visit during your stay, regardless of your faith or religious beliefs. It is a beautiful space for quiet reflection. Families are also welcome to make use of it too. Please ask any member of staff on the ward for more information.

Ursula from Windermere is 91, a mum, a grandma and a great grandma! She has also been ‘mum’ to several Yorkie dogs over the years. Ursula recently visited St John’s for pain management and kindly shared her experiences with us.

“I have a tumour which was causing constant pain so it was suggested that I came to St John’s for help. I hadn’t been to St John’s Hospice before so my first thought was, “Why would I go to a Hospice when I’m not dying?”

“When I got here it was such an eye-opener. It’s nothing like a hospital and it’s unbelievable. The minute you come through the hospice doors and meet the reception team you feel the love everywhere. The nurses and doctors are like a gift, sent to help you and to sort everything out – they just give so much. It doesn’t stop there; the housekeeping staff keep everywhere spotless and the hospitality staff bring your food when you feel it’s the right time to eat. The food is wonderful, especially the chicken soup! Food is important to me as when I came here I really didn’t want to eat because of the pain but now I’m eating more and the fact it’s all homemade is wonderful. If I can’t eat something, then the kitchen team will make a little something else for me – it’s like staying in The Ritz! 

“Everyone here understands that it’s the little things that make a difference: a chat, a treat, a soak in the bath or peaceful time to read a book. They’re one special team working together to make everything just right for patients.

“They’ve also been so kind to my visitors, guests such as my nieces have been made to feel very welcome and even their visiting dogs were allowed in too. It’s been lovely to stay here, and even though I’m looking forward to going back home I have loved every minute of it.


Food and refreshments at St John’s Hospice

Our kitchen is staffed by chefs and catering assistants seven days a week for our ward patients. They provide a planned menu with choices for you, and can also support any special dietary requirements. In between meals we will serve patients regular hot drinks accompanied with small snacks, and overnight the nurses can offer you snacks too. They are supported by our volunteer gardeners who work all year round to provide homegrown fruit, salad and vegetables for our cooks to include in your food.

Visiting St John’s Hospice

Family and friends are welcome to visit between 1pm - 8pm daily.

Children are welcome too: all we ask is that they are supervised at all times. Well controlled pets, such as dogs and cats, may be brought in to visit too as long as they are up to date with worming and vaccinations.

We do have some overnight accommodation for the family of anyone who is very unwell. Please ask the nurse for information.

Do I have to pay to stay at St John’s?

All our caring services are only possible because of our supporters. We are not part of the NHS, we are a local charity providing care, which costs over £5 million per year.

We receive around 30% of our core funding from the government. That means that we rely on our wonderful community and fundraising activities to raise the remaining 70%. We have to fundraise every day to ensure that our services remain available and free of charge to everyone when they need us most.

If you would like to help St John’s by donating some money, some time, support, goods for our shops or anything at all that you think could help us, please ask to speak to our Fundraising team.

You can call 01524 382538 to donate,
or visit our donation page. Thank you.

“I’m a straightforward person. Yes, I have cancer and I’ve decided not to let it define me. I don’t want to sit in a corner, I want to get on with my life and I still am – it’s just different. People see me for what I am: still smiling and still happy.

I feel lucky as I have Sandy from St John’s Hospice to help me. I met Sandy in February after I was diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t sure when I heard the ‘hospice’ word as I thought of it as a building where people go to die. I now see St John’s as an amazing place that helps people, and I’m looking forward to going to the Courtyard Café for lunch soon!

To me the Hospice is home because Sandy comes to me at home. I never knew the Hospice came out to see people at home and it’s great that they do – I couldn’t do without St John’s now. Sandy works with other people involved in my care like the GP and it’s so helpful. If I have a problem, say with medication, I just call her and she sorts it, she doesn’t let me down. Sandy has also helped me get ready for the future by supporting me with my advanced care planning so my wishes will be listened to, in fact she’s helped Mum and Dad too.

Sandy encourages me to be myself, to still socialise, which is great as I love to get out. My friend Irene and I put a bit of bling on and go out for lunch together. It’s nice to get dressed up once a week and feel a bit glamorous and special!”

We caught up with Irene who told us, “Michelle is an exceptional woman. I’ve known her for over 30 years and she’s loyal, caring and helpful. When I had my brain injury Michelle was here for me. We’ve been through a lot and its scary sometimes but Michelle is a determined woman facing her illness head on. When we lunch out together we talk nonsense and have a good laugh because positivity and good thoughts are positive healers. We’re ignoring the ‘red lights’ and letting the sun shine on us. Knowing St John’s is there for Michelle means she’s not alone. That means so much for Michelle, me and her family.