Martin House Hospice in Leeds is planning to expand its services with new facilities for children and young people.
The hospice has submitted plans to Leeds City Council to build a new wing with bigger children’s bedrooms and a new block housing a hydrotherapy pool. If approved, it will be the biggest expansion of the hospice since it built Whitby Lodge – its teenage and young adult unit – in 2002.
Martin Warhurst, chief executive at Martin House, said: “Submitting our plans is a major milestone for us. We have been working closely with our families, staff and volunteers since 2016 to develop this project.
“Martin House has been a home-from-home for our families for more than 30 years, but in that time our homes have changed, and we need to do the same.
“Thanks to advances in medicine during that time, children are now living longer, with more complex nursing needs, and the demand on our specialist palliative care is increasing.
“We want to ensure that we continue to meet their needs, both now and for another 30 years.”
Martin House currently cares for more than 400 babies, children and young people across West, North and East Yorkshire, and supports a further 150 bereaved families. The proposed expansion plans include a new wing of nine children’s bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, new parents’ bedrooms and family rooms for brothers and sisters, a new living, dining and kitchen area for families, a new two-storey block with a hydrotherapy pool, education and meeting space, and an ‘orangery’ to create more living space.
The current children’s bedrooms, lounge and dining areas will be converted into a mixture of therapy rooms, and there will also be space for day care. At the moment most children come to Martin House for extended respite stays for three to four days at a time.
Martin added: “The refurbished building will give us more flexibility and choice for families, and help us to reach out to more children in need of our care, while retaining the homely feel which we know is so valued.”
The build is expected to cost around £16.8 million, of which the hospice aims to raise £9 million, with the remainder coming from its reserves, and plans are being put into place to raise the money needed.
The project is being planned in phases, which will allow the hospice to remain open throughout the work.
Martin said: “It is vital to us that we continue to provide the care and support families rely on, and we will work very hard to ensure we minimise any disruption.
“Ultimately, we want to create a hospice for the future, to create the best possible environment for children, young people and their families.”
For more information visit Martin House Hospice