A Norfolk hospice is planning to open a new site to provide much-needed end of life care to the region.
The Priscilla Bacon Hospice is fundraising for new facilities to be built on a semi-rural site close to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (NNUH). It will offer an inpatient centre with 24 beds, increasing the hospice’s current capacity of 16 beds.
Mark Nicholas, CEO of the hospice, explained the need for the new building: “Norfolk and Waveney has one of the lowest levels of specialist palliative care provision of any area in the country. Commissioning guidelines indicate a requirement for 47-59 specialist beds, and we currently have only 16 in Priscilla Bacon Lodge.
“Previously, much attention has been given to the financial impact on the NHS, (estimated at around £2.5 billion each year nationally), of deaths occurring unnecessarily in acute hospital settings, when patients and families would rather be at home, or in a hospice. The increase in demand for palliative and end of life care during the pandemic has highlighted the urgency to get on and build this new hospice now.”
The new building will have family rooms, landscaped gardens accessible from bedrooms and wards, a dining room for patients and their relatives, complementary therapy suites and a dedicated ‘Hospice at Home’ centre for specialist care delivered in the community, in partnership with hospitals and care homes.
Additionally the hospice will have dedicated education and seminar facilities to train staff and carers in conjunction with partners. It is expected that the hospice will play an important role in research, training and education – as well as the NNUH, it will be adjacent to the University of East Anglia and Norwich Research Park, a science and business community.
Trustees of the 40-year-old hospice launched a fundraising appeal for the new building last year, which has reached just over half its target despite the restrictions of Covid-19. “Fundraising for a new hospice during the Covid-19 pandemic has been an interesting experience which has encouraged innovation” Hugo Stevenson, the Head of Fundraising and Communications said.
“We instantly adapted to create new online activities and virtual challenges to replace cancelled events that had been planned. We have been thrilled with the support that we have received, and community and local fundraising has held up well. Inevitably, trusts and grant-giving organisations are slowing their grant processes as they respond to urgent needs triggered by the pandemic, which is frustrating for our appeal, but understandable in the circumstances.”
For more information visit Priscilla Bacon Hospice