A ground-breaking “hospice in a hospital” is due to open in July after building work starts this month.
St Barnabas Hospice has joined forces with the local NHS, including GPs, to create a six-bed inpatient unit at Grantham Hospital which United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust says is the first venture of its kind in the country.
St Barnabas has invested £1.2 million into the unit following a successful bid by the hospice to the Department of Health for £510,000 to help it bring the plans to fruition.
The new hospice will benefit 160 people every year by having state-of-the-art facilities and specialised end-of-life care on their doorstep.
Chief Executive of St Barnabas Hospice, Sarah-Jane Mills, said: “This partnership with the NHS breaks new ground in developing an exciting new model for the way end-of-life care is provided and puts Grantham right at the cutting edge of best practice nationally.
“This is widening local access to hospice services - offering all those living in the community with life-limiting illnesses a far wider choice of where and how they want to die.
“Our aim is to develop not just a great facility, but something extraordinary of which the local community can feel proud – with a particular focus on bringing the outside in. Central to this will be creating an environment that is warm, welcoming and has a homely feel – drawing upon the views of staff, volunteers, patients and their families.”
The hospice will include six en-suite rooms which open out into a private courtyard and share a sun room. The hospital building, curently an annex to the Medical Admissions Unit, will be transformed with the creation of a custom-built extension to house the hospice unit which will have its own entrances. Additional features will include a treatment room, a relatives’ room and a quiet room.
The unit will be managed by the team from St Barnabas.
Preparatory building work is due to begin on Monday and it is hoped to be fully open by July. There will be two open days before the official opening when the community will be able to view the facilities.