St Peter’s Hospice new £7m inpatient unit opens

PUBLISHED: 17:13 26 November 2018

The new eating area. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.

The new eating area. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.

St Peter's Hospice

A £7million project to create an inpatient unit fit for the 21st century has been completed.

One of the quiet areas in the new inpatient unit. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.One of the quiet areas in the new inpatient unit. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.

St Peter’s Hospice’s new unit opened for the first time on Monday following a mammoth fundraising drive over the past year.

Patients will enjoy the comfort of a private room, families have more spaces to relax and the staff have better facilities to provide top quality care.

Simon Caraffi, the hospice’s chief executive, said the project and Room To Care fundraising appeal has taken a long time coming.

He said: “We have been planning it for about five years.

“We did a whole series of workshops with the architects and staff to look at the future to see what we needed for the next 20 years.”

There are 15 individual bedrooms at the hospice and gone are the old shared rooms which had gone past their best.

Mr Caraffi said this was one of the cornerstones of the project – it allows people in the final days to spend quality time alone with their loved ones. If they want it to be a sombre occasion of reflection, they can, or if they want to enjoy moments with grandchildren or friends then that is also possible.

The new eating area. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.The new eating area. Picture: St Peter's Hospice.

It has been a hectic period for staff and volunteers, with the old building being torn down, the new centre built and end-of-life care moving to Keynsham.

The three remaining patients at Keynsham were moved to St Peter’s at the start of the week.

Mr Caraffi said: “We opened five rooms on Monday.

“The other 10 will open gradually over the next few weeks – the rest should be open by Christmas.”

Each room has a modern bed, hoist if required and a private en-suite. There is also a sofa-bed for any relatives who need to stay over unexpectedly.

Everything from a sanctuary room and quiet room is also included, and landscaping works continues to make the hospice as picturesque as possible.

Each room has its own balcony which will mean in the spring and summer that patients can be wheeled out on their beds to enjoy the fresh air.

However, hospice staff know none of the amazing changes would have been possible without the support of the community.

Several of the rooms also back on to a dementia-friendly garden – which is Mr Caraffi’s favourite part – and a café area has also been created.

Last October the hospice launched its Room To Care appeal which saw it set itself the task of raising the final £1.5million to make the project possible.

Sales made at the 50-plus charity shops it runs, fundraising events including an elf run in Clevedon and the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta plus significant donations meant the total was achieved in time.

Mr Caraffi paid tribute to staff’s professionalism during a turbulent year but added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed, I don’t mind if they gave a penny or thousands of pounds.

“It doesn’t stop now though, in addition to raising £1.5million we need £20,000 a day to make the place run.

“The support has been brilliant and I know they will carry that on for the next 20 years.”

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