Northern Ireland Hospice temporarily moves to new site

Categories: Community Engagement.

Heather Weir, head of clinical and nursing services at the hospice, said the hospice had “outgrown the site” and that “the walls of this Victorian building and former school are damp and crumbling, there is only one bathroom and 18 patients shared one shower”. She went on to say: “We have no other choice but to temporarily locate to new premises and raise the funds to build a new hospice on the existing site.” 

Th temporary relocation to Whiteabbey Hospital, as funds are raised to rebuild the hospice, was made possible with help from the Northern Ireland Ambulance service, hospice staff and a team of volunteers. 

Northern Ireland Hospice intends to create a newly redeveloped centre, including a greater number of single en suite rooms for patients, as well as garden areas and new equipment. Plans for the redevelopment of Somerton are set start in spring 2013. It is hoped that the project will be finished by the end of 2014.

The total cost for the state-of-the-art facility will be £11 million. The hospice has launched a petition urging the Northern Ireland Executive to contribute £2.5 million towards the new build.

Northern Ireland Hospice opened in Somerton House, north Belfast, in 1983. The charity now cares for more than 3,000 people and their families each year, which is nearly a fifth of the total number of people who die in Northern Ireland annually.

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