It’s almost time for patients and staff to make the move to Bosham as the finishing touches are being made to the new St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
Raising money through its Dream Building campaign, trustees and staff have worked hard to design a new hospice, fit for purpose.
The official opening is expected to take place next month and the keys have now been handed over by Kier Construction.
St Wilfrid’s plans for the new hospice came to fruition around the time of their 30th birthday. When they first opened in 1987, they received 188 referrals, in 2017-18, there were 888.
They knew their current building and site was too small to meet current or future needs for their services.
The new building is around double the size of the old hospice, with 18 patient rooms, compared to 14 in the current building.
The new rooms have been carefully thought out, each with smart bed technology and extras such as locked away drug cabinets in each room, adjustable lighting and shower rooms.
Private family areas and ‘snugs’ can be found dotted around the hospice, a chapel welcoming all types of faiths and religions and a Bradbury Living Well Centre housing therapeutic and social activities.
Trustee Lis Spence said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It moves the possibility of serving this area into a hospice fit for the 21st century.
“We’ve been in the existing hospice for just over 30 years and this hospice will secure our future for the next 30 years and beyond.
“The initial challenge was finding a site which was suitable for us. We are thrilled with our architects, who have done a brilliant design so it looks like farm building set in a beautiful environment.
“We have been able to incorporate so many modern facilities. One of my favourites has to be the tea button – when you are an inpatient you can press a button to alert the volunteers kitchen and someone will bring you a cup of tea without bothering the nurses.
“We spent years talking about the concept. We wanted to make rooms bigger to get families in but take the feel of the current hospice with us. We didn’t want to lose that feel.”
The chapel in the current hospice was the last thing to be built on the last piece of land left.
Chief executive Alison Moorey said it was not very accessible and they are unable to take beds in there.
She said: “The idea of the new one is that it will be accessible to people on the ward or coming in to visit or people in the community.
“The doors are wide enough that we will be able to bring a patient in who is in their bed which is just fantastic.
“One of the things about our current chapel is that we had these beautiful stained glassed windows that were built and commissioned when the current hospice was first built.
“Leaving the hospice after so long, trying to decide what comes with us and what doesn’t has been quite interesting.
“But the chapel windows were top of the list, they absolutely had to come. There were windows behind which is why it meant they were easy to take them out of our current chapel and bring them in. Everyone is absolutely thrilled because they look better here as they are recessed so when the sun shines through they look spectacular. This has meant such a lot to have these here.”
Lorraine Corman, from Portsmouth, was welcomed for a tour of the new building after her mother was referred to St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
She said: “In the final six days of her life, mum received care beyond anything we could have imagined.
“She was treated by love and passion by everyone she met. They gave her massages and bubble baths. They sat with her when she was scared and they gave her endless cups of tea.
“St Wilfrid’s allowed mum to maintain every ounce of her dignity at a time when she could have lost it all.
“This new building has even greater space for families to be together in the lounge, snug areas and more private spaces, as well as much needed shower facilities when families know that going home for the night just isn’t the right thing to do.
“It just highlights that St Wilfrid’s are here to care for everyone that is affected by terminal illness.”