[prev] …unit in the grounds – the culmination of years of planning and 18 months of fundraising, so far. Allison Mann is the hospice’s head of clinical services and has been actively involved in drawing up plans. ‘This is the first major building project Sue Ryder as an organisation has embarked upon. We are a healthcare charity committed to delivering incredible care so it was important those delivering that care shaped the environment. ‘Private bedrooms with en suites were a must, as was easy access to the gardens for patients – which they will have through patio doors. The Sue Ryder study “A Time and A Place” revealed 63% of people would prefer to die at home. For many that just isn’t practical. So we wanted to make the new Thorpe Hall Hospice as much like home as possible with wood-effect floors, hidden medical equipment, and technology, including wifi and televisions, in every room. This new building is exactly what we need to lead hospice care through the 21st century.’
‘We’ve been delivering care and support to patients for 23 years. Through our education programme we can take that expertise into the community to help others learn how to deliver the same standard of care’
Indeed, the new state-of-the-art Thorpe Hall will be a beacon of excellence, serving the region for generations to come. And it will allow an expansion of the work staff already engage in externally. Maggie Fay, a nurse and the hospice’s education lead, said: ‘We’ve been delivering care and support to patients for 23 years. Through our education programme we can take that expertise into the community to help others learn how to deliver the same standard of care. We already work with care homes, GP surgeries, local hospitals, community nurses and prisons. Our new hospice will enable us to expand those services, so it doesn’t matter where an individual chooses to die, they will still get the incredible care they deserve.’ That care and support takes many forms – having pain or symptoms managed, being surrounded by family 24/7, seeing loved ones supported by trained counsellors, having conditions stabilised so they can return home, finding peace by praying with Thorpe Hall’s chaplain – for some it’s as simple as a cup of tea in a china cup.
‘We call it the Thorpe Hall effect,’ said nurse Liz Pugsley. ‘Many patients arrive from hospital or home and within hours feel better. I think it’s a relief to be somewhere that takes the worry away. Unfortunately we can’t change our patients’ outcome but we can change the journey. We can give them quality of life so they can spend the time they have surrounded by the people they love, in the way they choose.’ And it’s never too late to create new memories, as Karen Dakin discovered. ‘My father-in-law Derek was in Thorpe Hall at Easter and all the patients were given a Cadbury’s Creme Egg with a little knitted chick on top. He’d never eaten a Creme Egg before,’ said Karen. ‘Then a volunteer therapist offered him a foot massage. He loved it. Imagine experiencing two “firsts” in the final weeks of your life. Derek would never have got that anywhere else.’
The current fundraising total for the Thorpe Hall Capital Appeal sits at £2.8million. The aim is to raise £6 million
That level of care won’t change in the new Thorpe Hall – but it will be delivered more efficiently and in a much more suitable environment. Even though building work starts this month, the hospice is still short of the funds needed. The current fundraising total for the Thorpe Hall Capital Appeal sits at £2.8million. The aim is to raise £6 million. Money has been spent as it has come in. Thorpe Hall’s West Wing has already been refurbished and now houses treatment, therapy and counselling rooms, and offices for the new hospice. The new hospice’s reception area has also been laid out and the new shop has been trading since Christmas. The orchard wall which marks the boundary for the new building and its specially designed gardens has been restored, a pre-requisite for planning permission.
Tammy Pearce, hospice fundraising manager, said: ‘By phasing the project we have kept fundraising and build momentum going. Now we need a big push to bring in the… [cont]