Hospice joy at �150k grant

A GRANT of more than �150,000 has been handed to west Suffolk hospice chiefs who will use the money to improve facilities and equipment.

The Department of Health grant to St Nicholas Hospice Care in Bury St Edmunds was announced yesterday.

It will be spent on rehabilitation and therapeutic facilities which include the gardens, equipment, information centre and chapel.

Hospice chiefs told how the cash would help them deliver better care, more dignity and more privacy to people nearing the end of their lives across west Suffolk and Theftord.

Hospice chief executive Barbara Gale said: “We are absolutely delighted at this fantastic news. We’ve wanted to make these improvements for a very long time and now thanks to the Department of Health and our very talented grants officer who wrote the application, we can put our plans in motion.

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“Although hospice care is more than just a building – with many services being provided in people’s homes – the building itself gives hospice care an important physical presence in the community.”

She said one of the key improvements planned was the building of a dedicated consulting room large enough to accommodate a bed so patients and their families can speak to doctors in private.

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A large chunk of the money be spent improving the hospice’s award-winning gardens, which have not been redeveloped since the hospice building was open in 1993.

Mrs Gale said: “We want all our patients, including those with multiple complex needs, to benefit from the highest quality of care possible in a comfortable, safe and welcoming setting, using high quality equipment.

“When these improvements are complete, the benefits to patients will be significant – through access to improved rehabilitation facilities, greater levels of information and a more comforting and therapeutic environment throughout the Hospice building and gardens.

“However wonderful this award is we always need the continual support of the community to pay for the running costs of the Hospice and ask the community to keep supporting us as wonderfully as they do.”

In his letter to the Hospice, care services minister Phil Hope said: “We are confident that your project will make a significant difference to the service offered to future patients and bring benefits to families, carers and staff alike.”

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