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Respite care

St Helena can now offer respite care. Your loved one will be cared for in a single room with en-suite facilities at the hospice in Highwoods, Colchester.

Our respite service is for people with a diagnosis of frailty or life limiting illnesses. We provide a safe space for patients, where care is available round-the-clock so their carers can take a well-earned rest. Respite is not intended to be used where there is a deterioration in symptoms. In this case a referral to our inpatient unit would be appropriate. 

Two female clinical support workers are making a hospice bed up

What is respite?

Respite is a temporary stay at the hospice designed to enable carers to take a rest from caring. For example, if a significant amount of a person’s care is provided by family and friends, booking a respite stay could enable them to take a break from caring, perhaps to take a holiday.  

Who can book in for respite?

Anyone age 16 or over with frailty or life-limiting illness. You do not need to be receiving care from St Helena to book a respite stay. 

How to book?

Admissions will be for blocks of seven days at a time, with a maximum length of stay agreed before admission. To book a stay please contact the Hospice Matron by email to or contact our Hospice reception by calling 01206 845 566.


Respite stays are a paid-for service. We can accept payment via private funding, personal health budget and continuing healthcare.

Other information

Nursing care and meals are included in the cost of a respite stay and visitors are welcome. Please see our information on visiting St Helena Hospice for more details

Prior to starting our respite service, the bed was funded and used for other types of admission, but now that funding has ended so have the admissions. We are pleased we can now offer respite stays in place of these admissions. 

By booking a respite stay at St Helena, not only will you experience our expert care, you’ll be helping us to continue supporting local people facing incurable illness and bereavement.

To book a respite stay please contact the hospice matron by email to or contact our hospice reception by calling 01206 845 566.

The pond in the hospice garden
A nurse smiling at a patient in a bed
flowers on the patio in the hospice garden
windows overlooking the hospice garden
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