Duchess of Kent Hospice

Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. Our doctors, nurses and carers give people the compassion and expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.

Day services

Our day service is run by a small team of nurses supporting patients with complex specialist palliative care needs to enable them to live safely and in comfort at home. We are open three days a week and patients can attend between 10am - 3pm once a week. There are similar units in Wokingham and Newbury.

Our day services supports patients physically, psychologically, spiritually and socially. Services are provided by a via  multi-disciplinary team including, nurses, doctors, diversional therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, our lymphoedema team, dieticians, our Chaplain, befrienders, complementary therapists and a wonderful bunch of volunteers.

We ensure that our patients are receiving the benefits they are entitled to, we support them to arrange holidays and participate in activities they enjoy. We aim to keep them out of hospital for as long as possible, but identify when this is necessary and refer appropriately. Day services patients can be admitted to our inpatient unit for symptom management if needed. We give blood transfusions, variable infusions, and provide medication to our patients to relieve symptoms.

We broach difficult subjects including Advance Care Planning, Do Not Attempt Resuscitation and Preferred Place of Care so that our patient’s wishes can be identified and planned for.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy

We have a Physiotherapist in each of our localities. Our aim is to focus on improving the person's quality of life and work with them in achieving their own personal goals and maintaining independence for as long as possible.

We focus on mobility, posture and positioning, individual exercise programs, pacing, respiratory care, pain and neurological symptoms as well as working with family and carers to help promote independence. We work in the day hospice, community, and have patients visit us here. Overall our aim is to work with the patient for as long as they need us.

We have four part-time specialist Occupational Therapists and two part time Therapy Assistants who work across our three sites in Wokingham, Reading and Newbury. We are passionate about providing person-centred care for the people referred to them and see over 500 patients per year.

We advise patients and their carers on adaptive equipment and safe techniques to use in their own environments. This is to enable people to maintain their quality of life and independence. In addition the team provide advice and support as needed when people are ready to be discharged home from the hospice.

We work closely with our nursing colleagues, Social Worker, Dietetic Team, Lymphoedema Therapists, Physiotherapist, Volunteer Co-ordinator and other members of the team at Sue Ryder to provide a holistic service to our patients.

The team also communicate closely with Social Services and community nursing teams to provide a seamless service to our patients.

Dietitian

Palliative care patients are referred to a Dietitian for a number of reasons including weight loss, weight gain, taste changes (which may have occurred during treatment e.g. radio/chemotherapy), modified diets e.g. texture, fibre content, fat content and enteral nutrition (tube feeding) which may be required if someone is unable to meet their nutritional requirements through food and drink due to swallowing difficulties.

As well as providing practical advice, a Dietitian has the skills to help support the patients and their family and friends through the social and emotional difficulties which they may experience with food and illness.

Lymphoedema service

The Sue Ryder Lymphoedema Team in Berkshire provide a specialist physiotherapist and nurse-led service to around 500 patients each year.

Patients are treated as outpatients at Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading, Wokingham Day Hospice or Charles Clore Day Hospice in Thatcham. They may also be seen on the ward, in day therapy or occasionally in their own homes.

What is lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a swelling that develops due to a build-up of fluid in the body's tissues. It happens when the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining fluid away, isn’t working properly. The swelling usually occurs in an arm or leg, but can affect the head, neck or trunk. Lymphoedema often occurs as a side effect of cancer surgery and radiotherapy, sometimes many years after treatment, but can occur as a result of a number of other causes.

What are the symptoms?

The swelling can make the area feel uncomfortable, heavy and achy, may restrict movement, and can lead to repeated infections in the swollen area. As well as physical difficulties, lymphoedema can cause emotional distress through patients developing issues with body image and self-esteem, and can be a constant reminder of their condition.

What we do to help

Lymphoedema can’t be cured, but a lot can be done to control and reduce the swelling, and relieve distressing symptoms, especially with early diagnosis and advice. Our specialist therapists demonstrate self-treatment strategies including skincare, ways to reduce the risk of getting cellulitis (infections) in the swollen area(s), and self-massage techniques and exercises.

They may suggest wearing specialist compression garments, and sometimes use other techniques such as lymphoedema taping, Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage, pneumatic pumps and bandaging.

Local support group

The Berkshire Lymphoedema Support Group meets monthly and welcomes anyone with lymphoedema to come along to any of their meetings. There are speakers, discussions, and the chance to meet others facing similar issues.

For details about this support group, visit www.blsg.co.uk or phone Jo on 0118 978 9730.

Contact details

Call the team on 0118 955 0413 or email bks-tr.slymph@nhs.net

Inpatient care

Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent is a 15-bed hospice, based in Reading providing round-the-clock assessment and specialist care to help manage patients' symptoms.

All beds are in private rooms with en-suite facilities, overlooking our wonderful courtyard garden.

Our highly skilled medical staff provide round-the-clock assessment and specialist care to help relieve the physical effects of patients’ conditions such as pain, breathlessness and nausea, whilst our family support and spiritual care teams are on hand to offer emotional support, not only for our patients, but for their family, friends and carers too.

We pride ourselves in making our hospices feel like a home away from home.

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Family and friends can visit any time they like and will always receive a warm welcome.

Befriending

Our volunteer befrienders provide emotional support to patients and families. They are there to provide company, listen or simply sit beside someone. They can visit a patient who is feeling lonely or give a carer a much-needed short break.

They can also help people to get out and about by accompanying them on a trip to the shops or cinema for example.

Family and bereavement support

We provide a support service for any of our patients or their family members who need someone to talk to, helping them deal with situations or feelings that can be hard to cope with alone.

We can see people on a one-on-one basis or with other family members to work through feelings and situations they are currently experiencing or any worries they have about the future, loss or grief.

We also have our Online Community - a place to share experiences, get things off your chest or ask questions with people who understand.

Spiritual care

When someone is experiencing fear and anxiety, spiritual support can be a huge comfort. Regardless of faith or belief, our spiritual care team is here for patients, families and carers to bring peace of mind. We can help with any religious needs people have, or if we can't help, we'll connect them with people who can.

Palliative Care Hub Berkshire

Our unit in Newbury is located in the Rosemary Centre at West Berkshire Community Hospital. This is the base for our community and day therapy team in Newbury and the surrounding areas.

Our specialist team of healthcare professionals and trained volunteers are able to provide a number of specialist services in the day therapy unit and in your own home. They aim to support you and your family if you have a life-limiting condition, and to help you to have the best quality of life possible whilst living with the effects of the condition.

Our team consists of:

  • Day therapy nurses
  • Community clinical nurse specialists (CNS)
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Lymphoedema therapists
  • Complementary therapists
  • Specialist palliative care doctor
  • Diversional therapist
  • Day therapy volunteers
  • Befriending volunteers
  • Access to a psychologist, family support and bereavement counsellor and a dietician

Which service will you be able to use?

If you are well enough to travel, you can attend the day therapy unit where you can access a number of specialist services during one visit in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.

If you are not able to travel our professional staff and befriending volunteers can visit you in your own home.

How will you be referred?

You can be referred to the community and day therapy services by a healthcare professional involved in your care. This might be your GP, district nurse, or hospital staff. You will have an initial assessment and a plan of care will be agreed with you.

Inpatient beds

Hospice inpatient beds for the Newbury area are provided at Duchess of Kent Hospice, Reading. There are some beds for patients with palliative care needs in West Berkshire Community Hospital.

Contact details:

Call 01635 273 725 or email: enquiries.berkshirewest@sueryder.org

Find us at:

Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub Berkshire
West Berks Community Hospital
Benham Hill
London Road
Berkshire
RG18 3AS

 

Wokingham Day Hospice

Our Sue Ryder Wokingham Day Hospice is in the grounds of Wokingham Community Hospital and is the base for our community and day therapy team in Wokingham and the surrounding area.

Specialist services in day therapy or at home

Our specialist team of healthcare professionals and trained volunteers are able to provide a number of specialist services in the day therapy unit and in your own home. They aim to support you and your family if you have a life-limiting condition, and to help you to have the best quality of life possible whilst living with the effects of your condition.

Our team includes:

  • Day therapy nurses
  • Community clinical nurse specialists (CNS)
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Lymphoedema therapists
  • Complementary therapists
  • Specialist palliative care doctor
  • Diversional therapist
  • Day therapy volunteers
  • Befriending volunteers
  • Access to a psychologist, family support and bereavement counsellor and a dietician

Which services will you be able to use?

If you are well enough to travel, you can attend the day therapy unit where you can access a number of specialist services during one visit in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, from our lymphoedema service to support if you are a carer.

If you are not able to travel, our professional staff and befriending volunteers can visit you in your own home.

How will you be referred?

You can be referred to the community and day therapy services by a healthcare professional involved in your care. This might be your GP, district nurse, or hospital staff.

You will have an initial assessment and a plan of care will be agreed with you.

Inpatient beds

Inpatient beds for the Wokingham area are provided at Duchess of Kent Hospice, Reading.

For all general enquiries, please call 0118 949 5030.

Professionals making referrals to the service, call 0118 955 0444 or email enquiries.berkshirewest@sueryder.org.

Find us at:

Sue Ryder Wokingham Day Hospice
Wokingham Hospital
41 Barkham Road
Wokingham
Berkshire
RG41 2RE

Interested in education and training?

We run training sessions on a variety of subjects, and provide high quality clinical training placements for students from different disciplines, including medicine, allied health professions and nursing.

Image of Mari, a Sue Ryder nurse

Our Sue Ryder nurses

Our nurses are privileged to care for people at the most difficult time of their lives.