At St. Michael’s Hospice, we are dedicated to continuous improvement to ensure the best possible care to our patients and their families during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

We understand how important the environment is to physical and emotional wellbeing, from lighting to smell, it is important to provide those in our care with a safe and calm environment.

During 2023 we undertook the ambitious renovation project of our patient rooms, family room, Sanctuary and Living Well spaces. The project was a big undertaking for us as we had not carried out any major improvement works for our patients’ rooms in the past 30 years. On average, we care for at least two hundred patients in our In-patent Unit (IPU) every year, and the average stay of our patients in the Hospice is 9.4 days. Throughout our patients’ stay at the Hospice, our priority is to provide them with the best care and support. This project was important for us to ensure that our patients feel welcomed and comfortable throughout their stay with us. 

This project was made possible by the generosity and kindness of the Hospice’s charitable foundations and trusts. It was funded majorly (over 80% of the total project) by the Wolfson Foundation, The Syder Foundation and The Bernard Sunley Foundation.

“We are delighted to have been able to support St. Michael’s Hospice. The project highlights the significance of surrounding environments to wellbeing, and the new refurbished spaces will make an important difference to patients, their loved ones and clinical staff members.” – Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation

“The Syder Foundation was very pleased to support St. Michael’s Patient Room Refurbishment project. The project has been completed to a very high standard, creating welcoming, comfortable spaces for patients and their visitors and significantly improving the patient experience.” – The Syder Foundation

From the beginning of the project, we made sure to include our clinical teams to make informed decisions regarding the changes being made in the rooms. Our teams helped us to ensure the refurbishments were not just comforting and relaxing but were also practical and safe from a clinical standpoint.

“The homely, less clinical, environment puts patients and families instantly at ease. Most people coming to a hospice are incredibly anxious about what it will be like, and they are so surprised to see how warm and comforting the environment is. When patients are more relaxed we can treat and build rapports with them quicker, which helps us offer more holistic person centred care for them. For patients who will never get the chance to go home again, the new rooms really create a home-away-from-home which is incredibly important for them and their families.” – Dr Jemma Storrar, Consultant in Palliative Medicine

We worked with Willow Grey Interiors, Steve Mills carpentry, Jamie Castleman decorators, Nick Davies at DES Electricals and Pete Brickell carpentry and fitting to bring the rooms to life with fresh and modern furnishings. The rooms have been fully fitted with new curtains, installation of cupboards, painting of the walls, and improving the lighting. In addition to this, we also added home furnishing and installed Smart Televisions in each room. This gives the rooms a more homely environment, from enabling patients to watch their favourite sports to enjoying family movie nights.
“Willow Grey Interiors is an interior design company specialising in luxury interiors in Hampshire and the surrounding counties. We work with mostly domestic clients from small changes to large scale renovations and house builds and have a trusted team of trades who work with us on all our projects. Our work with the Hospice grew from a mutual contact and following a design briefing, we worked on some CGI renders which helped St. Michael’s Hospice secure a grant for us to project manage the renovation of the family room, sanctuary, cafe and 10 patient bedrooms. We used materials to give the Willow Grey Interiors look – homely, welcoming, modern and timeless – but maintaining the important of being in a hospice setting (indestructible!). We loved working with the team at St. Michael’s Hospice and their input into the project was invaluable. Project managing the works was as tricky as we’d yet done, as we had to stage everything very carefully to avoid disturbing any patients. We’re delighted with the outcome of the project, and the feedback from patients and staff has been really positive.” – Caroline Lawrence, Director/Interior Designer for Willow Grey Interiors

Furthermore, to these changes, we amended the electrical fitings in all the rooms to ensure energy efficiency and plastered the walls to make them look more appealing. All these changes have made a significant impact on all the rooms. The rooms now look warm and welcoming. We believe that these improvements will hugely contribute to enhancing the Hospice experience for our patients and their families in years to come.

We also personalised each room with unique aesthetic elements to make it look warmer and more welcoming. Our main objective was to create a more home-like and personal feel in each room, which we have achieved successfully. 

“The upgrades have been simply remarkable. From the installation of sizeable, state-of-the-art televisions to the meticulous concealment of unsightly cables and clinical equipment behind bespoke furniture pieces, no detail was overlooked in pursuit of cultivating an atmosphere of tranquillity and relaxation. The addition of anti-microbial fabrics for curtains and blinds ensures both elegance and vital infection control measures. Perhaps most strikingly, the rooms now boast stunning new flooring and freshly plastered and painted walls adorned in warm, inviting tones. The overall aesthetic is one of understated sophistication and class – creating the ideal ambience for our patients to find peace and rejuvenation during their time with us.” – Chris Griffiths, Director of Transformation & Project Lead for Patient Rooms Refurbishment

Along with our patient rooms and Family Room, we also transformed the Sanctuary, our spiritual and calming space for patients, family and staff. From an uninspiring environment to a beloved and tranquil space.

“The newly refurbished Sanctuary has impacted hugely on the St. Michael’s community, whether patients, their loved ones or staff. Designed as a calm, relaxing and rejuvenating space, it has quickly become a vital resource for anybody seeking space and time to think, to pray, and to reflect. We’ve all been in rooms and places that we’d describe as ‘soulless’ and know how much they sap our energy; by contrast the new Sanctuary could perhaps be described as ‘soul-ful’, a place to help revive our tired spirits in difficult times. As Chaplain, it is a good place for me to pray and to reflect, and re-energises me when that is what I need. It also means that staff can easily access a welcoming but private space to offer support to the families and loved ones of our patients when that is needed.” – Rev’d Dominic Thornton, Hospice Chaplain


Our Living Well Centre has been updated into a dynamic and flexible open area, enabling our teams to use it for a range of different purposes. From patient and family support sessions to staff training and meetings.
Words cannot describe the impact that these transformations have had for our patients, their families and our staff. Thank you to everyone who supported this project and worked to bring it to life for our Hospice.