Specialist care for adults in Dorset with a life limiting illness

How can we help you?

We've put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about Weldmar and the services we offer.

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Care at our Inpatient Unit

Sometimes, managing symptoms requires more sustained specialist input, and our Inpatient Unit in Dorchester is where we have beds where people can stay overnight.

Our team of doctors, nurses and therapists are on hand 24 hours a day to provide bespoke and tailored care, to ensure patients are comfortable and are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The Inpatient Unit is situated in beautiful surroundings in Dorchester.

We have a mix of two bedded bays and single rooms as well as a family room. There is also a kitchen, lounge and Orangery Restaurant which provides delicious meals and snacks throughout the day.

Patients and visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful views and grounds, with our gardens and meadow to the rear of the hospice building.  There is plenty of outside seating, and beds can also be moved outside in good weather.

Latest visitor arrangements at our Inpatient Unit

Common Questions

Can relatives stay overnight at the Inpatient Unit?

Marion’s Room

We have one family room, Marion’s Room, which features a dining area, a large television and sofas, its own kitchen facilities, bathroom, and will allow family members to stay with loved ones in more comfort.  It includes both a patient and visitor bed which can be connected together to create a double bed to allow for a couple and families to be even closer together if needed and the room also has a sofa bed so additional family members can stay too.

Double doors lead out onto a patio, and access to the gardens outside our Orangery restaurant. Some younger children find visiting a hospice an unsettling experience and Marion’s Room can be accessed by its own entrance from outside so they do not need to enter other parts of the building if they are uncomfortable.

More about Marion's Room

Overnight Relatives’ Room

There is one overnight relatives’ room where loved ones can stay overnight if required. This is allocated by the nurse in charge based on individual circumstances and cannot be reserved in advance. We are more than happy to suggest local accommodation for travelling loved ones if the relatives’ room is unavailable.

How long will I stay at the Inpatient Unit?

The length of your stay at the Inpatient Unit can vary: patients may be admitted for specialist symptom management, or for end of life care.

The average length of stay for patients admitted for symptom control is two weeks, however this is determined by individual need.

The Inpatient Unit does not offer long term care.

If it is not possible for you to be looked after at home and you do not need to be in our specialist unit, we may need to discuss discharge to alternative care setting such as a nursing home.

Any plans for discharge will be discussed in collaboration with you and those important to you.

What shall I bring with me for my stay at the Inpatient Unit?

For your stay at the Inpatient Unit, please bring with you any current medication that you are taking.

You will also need to bring any mobility aids, phone and charger, day clothes, nightwear and toiletries.

Please feel free to bring any special personal items such as family photographs. Personal property remains your responsibility during your stay.

All bedding and towels are provided.

What is the visitor policy at your Inpatient Unit?

As part of our visitor policy, patients can welcome their close family and friends to visit them whilst they are staying at the Inpatient Unit.

Although we have open visiting, we would ask that visitors liaise with each other to ensure that patients have time to rest. We ask that all visitors report to reception on arrival.

In the interest of safety, the main doors are locked out of hours. To gain access, we ask that you press the side door buzzer if visiting out of hours.

We are able to offer overnight stays for close family in exceptional circumstances.

Face coverings are optional for all visitors. If you would prefer to wear one during your visit, they are freely available at Reception.

We politely ask that if you are not feeling well, please do not visit. Visitors who have recently been unwell, particularly with coughs, colds, sickness and diarrhoea, are requested not to visit until symptom-free for 48 hours.

Free parking is available – please see reception for a parking permit.

If you have further questions, please speak to the Inpatient Unit for guidance – prior to visiting – on 01305 215300.

Can my pet visit the Inpatient Unit?

We know how important pets are and they are very welcome to visit you on the Inpatient Unit– please discuss with the nursing team.

Is internet access available at the Inpatient Unit?

Yes, Wi-fi access is available free of charge for all patients and visitors at the Inpatient Unit. Please ask a member of staff for assistance.

Can I smoke at the Inpatient Unit?

Weldmar has a no smoking policy including e-cigarettes and vaping.

Staff and visitors are advised that smoking is not permitted in any of the charity’s premises and grounds.

A designated smoking area is available at the Inpatient Unit site for patients only, who are able to use it safely and independently.

Close up of a nurse touching hand of a patient in hospital ward

"I feel like I must be the only person here sometimes, it is so peaceful. I ring my bell and the nurses are straight in, often they have the time to stay and talk to me, especially when I am in pain. They are all so comforting, I feel like I'm surrounded by the most lovely friends"

Your care is in the very best hands

We are proud to have a long standing team of specialty doctors, who are based at our Inpatient Unit, but will also visit patients at home if a patient has very complex needs.  Our amazing team of nurses, and health care assistants, are there around the clock to provide care and support to patients and their visitors, ensuring that patients are as comfortable as they can be, providing care that is as individual as you are.

We also have physiotherapists and occupational therapists based at the hospice, as well as being able to provide complementary therapies.

As well as clinical care, our Inpatient Unit is looked after by an expert team of on-site maintenance engineers, and our housekeeping staff provide the highest possible standards of cleanliness.


Food and nutrition

Our dedicated catering team has a flexible approach to meals, taking into account special dietary requirements, likes and dislikes.

On arrival, patients receive a visit from the Healthcare Chef, who will work with them to develop a plan tailored to the patients individual requirements. The team are happy to meet with patients as often as needed. There are rounds each day to review the daily menu options and plan suitable, well balanced meals for the day. This high quality food is prepared in a five star rated catering environment.

We have facilities for family and friends to prepare hot and cold drinks, and a fridge with a variety of snacks to purchase from reception. Food can be brought into the hospice and stored in the fridge in the Visitors Kitchen.

See our patient menu here
The Retreat

The Retreat is a brand new, light and sunny space at our Inpatient Unit in Dorchester.

It is available for patients and their loved ones as an additional visiting space, and provides an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful and tranquil gardens, closer to nature, with comfort and shelter.

Take a tour of The Retreat

What our patients and their loved ones say:

Here are some stories from patients and their family members, about the difference the team at the Inpatient Unit has made.

The latest news from Weldmar

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