Stay at the hospice

Sometimes, you may need a break from the 24-hour care your child needs.

This is where the In Patient unit can help. The children’s in-patient unit is a purpose-built facility that opened in 2000. We have five children’s beds in four bedrooms and a double room so brothers and sisters can stay together if they wish. The building is wheelchair accessible and disability friendly. Aside from short breaks, we offer a place for you and your child to stay when our specialist care and support is needed.

Why would my child stay at the hospice?

We understand that sometimes you may need a break from the 24-hour care your child needs. Your child may come to stay to help with symptom control, as a step down after hospital stays, for end-of-life care or for support in a crisis. We have an integrated neonatal pathway with Luton and Dunstable Hospital if your baby needs care after they are born.

I’m worried about leaving my child. How can I be sure they will be well looked after?

Many parents understandably worry about leaving their child but you can be sure that they will be well looked after at Keech. We have doctors, nurses, support workers and counsellors who have been specially trained and are very experienced in caring for children and young adults with a range of illnesses and in many different situations.

Our medical team is in the hospice providing care 9am-5pm, seven days a week, and is on call outside these times to support the nursing team.

What facilities are there for my child at the hospice?

There are many things to do at the hospice and your child will have lots of opportunities to play and interact with other children and families, too.

We also have specialist facilities including:

  • A multi-sensory room with colourful lights and tactile toys for sensory play to encourage movement and senses
  • A music room equipped with many instruments for music therapy
  • An outdoor playground, which is a safe, bright space with wheelchair access, outdoor toys and lots of activities to enjoy
  • The Teenage Room has everything a teenager would want – a widescreen television, sound system, games console, computer, a pool table and table football
  • hydrotherapy pool – often one of the first things our children and their families want to use!
  • A large, inviting care area with comfortable sofas, child-sized tables and chairs, toys and activities for all ages
  • Welcoming, child-orientated bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms so families can enjoy private space
  • Comfortable on-site accommodation. This allows family and friends to stay at the hospice while a child is on the unit so they are close by and can visit their child at any time.

Can we arrange a visit to the hospice beforehand?

This can be arranged by a community nurse and a member of staff will take you round the unit so you can view our facilities and have any questions answered. We also offer ‘stay and play’ sessions to familiarise your child with the environment. These sessions, usually around two hours, are arranged via the community team and a member of staff will stay with you throughout your visit.

How else can you support my child and our family?

In many ways. Why not read about our music therapyart therapy and complementary therapies? We also run a number of different support groups including Sparklers, which is our sibling support group, and Parents Supporting Parents. Our fully trained care team is always here for you.