Multi-million pound plans have been unveiled to refurbish and redevelop the Ayrshire Hospice.
It’s hoped the redevelopment of the site will help ‘future proof’ the hospice for generations to come – and enhance the care it gives.
If approved, building work could start in spring 2022 with the new facility opening later the following year.
The cost of the project could be in the region of £13 million.
These plans have been 10 years in the making and mark a critical point in the hospice’s history.
The grand plans include:
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- A new inpatient unit with 18 single, en-suite rooms with private patio
- Two patient and family respite rooms with en-suite facilities
- A seamless linking corridor between the inpatient unit and day services
- Clinical and community nursing hubs brought together under the same roof for the first time
- Dedicated and modern space for young people of patients
- A vibrant playroom for young children
- A “discreet, respectful and separate” entrance just for patients and their families allowing a “private and dignified” admittance into the inpatient unit
- A new day services centre
- Two spa-worthy therapy rooms offering a range of “complementary therapies” to patients and their families or carers for R&R including Reiki, reflexology, massage, meditation/relaxation, Indian Head Massage and mindfulness
- A dedicated occupational therapy space and gym
- Conference space for up to 75 people
- New sensory garden
- Library/educational space
- Community cafe, open seven days a week.
Carla MacEwan, chief executive at The Ayrshire Hospice, said: “This planning application represents a huge step forward in the provision of specialist palliative and end-of-life care for Ayrshire.”
The proposals also mark the most ambitious undertaking in the hospice’s 32-year history.
However, it also goes on to state that the building is “failing” and “urgently requires refurbishment and redevelopment” to “address the urgent issues identified” by Health Improvement Scotland highlighted in their latest report.
In the planning statement, it concedes that the continued approach of “minor intervention, after minor intervention” at the site “will not facilitate the change required to meet the needs of the Ayrshire Hospice community.”
As a result, the time has come for a considerable redevelopment.
Ms MacEwan revealed: “Our hospice, first opened 32 years ago, is no longer able to keep up with the volume of people who need our care and services.
“Our much-loved existing building in Racecourse Road, has been added to, altered and expanded many times and we cannot adapt it any further.
“Patient numbers are increasing dramatically and we are caring for more patients with increasingly complex illnesses and symptoms.
“Put simply, the care we provide is outstanding but the building is holding us back.
“The new hospice will allow our clinical teams to continue to deliver exceptional care, without hindrance.”
In addition to the new features, work will be undertaken to include new office space, while landscaping and providing new access and parking facilities will be part of the project.
Now the race is on to help fund the multi-million pound project and the hospice has announced the launch of a Capital Build Project.
So far, the hospice has secured £6.2m but Ms MacEwan is asking the good people of Ayrshire to see if they can chip in.
She said: “Since the hospice was founded in 1989, by those first pioneers within our community, the landscape of palliative and end-of-life care has changed dramatically.
“The NHS is increasingly stretched, people are living longer than ever before and more and more have multiple, complex conditions toward the end of their lives.
“When we first began providing our care, the majority of our patients had cancer.
“Today, almost a third are affected by other life limiting conditions such as motor neurone disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary conditions, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and dementia.
“As leaders in palliative care, our aim is always to provide the best possible care in the right place at the right time.
“We want to continue to provide our patients and families with an environment that matches our excellent standard of care, well into the second half of the century.”
In a direct appeal to readers she said: “To make this momentous shift in the provision of end-of-life care for our community will cost money to achieve: the total cost of the project is projected to be £13m.
“With £6.2 million secured, this incredible project has already raised nearly half of the funds required; but we need your help to reach our target.
“The Ayrshire community and beyond has supported The Ayrshire Hospice over the last 30 years.
“As we embark on a campaign to raise the remaining £6.8 million over the next two years, we again look to everyone in the community for their continued support.
“With your help, we can continue to support those in our community when their lives are challenged by terminal illness and keep making today matter. This is our hospice; it’s Ayrshire’s Hospice. ”
She added: “Once built, the new hospice will be an unrivalled state-of-the-art facility for the residents of Ayrshire and Arran, and one I know they will be incredibly proud of.
“We hope to open the doors of the new facility in late 2023.”
Chair of Trustees John Corrigan added: “The services available have expanded significantly during the past 30 years, as have the costs of providing them, but the hospice has maintained its policy, and will continue to do so, of providing all its services free of charge to our patients and relatives.
“To date, we have accrued £6.2 million which is a great start but it is simply not enough. We need at least double that amount to provide the infrastructure that you and I want and need our hospice to have for our patients of tomorrow, be they you or I, our relatives, our neighbours or our friends.”
“On behalf of the hospice board, but more importantly on behalf of the thousands of people across our community who will rely on the services of The Ayrshire Hospice in future, please know that whatever level of support you can offer to this essential project is needed and it is valued.”
Planning proposals will be reviewed in due course.
To find out more or donate, visit https://www.ayrshirehospice.org/Appeal/capital-donate
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