The Board of Highland Hospice has given approval to seek tenders for the construction of a new In Patient Unit and upgrading of existing facilities on its riverside site in Inverness. These developments are funded through the Project Build Appeal and the decision is a significant step in the journey to rebuild and modernise patient and family accommodation at the 26 year old Hospice.
The new building will provide a modern, bright and airy In Patient Unit, along with redesigned day therapy spaces, a quiet sanctuary room and increased physiotherapy, occupational therapy and bereavement support facilities.
There will be nine single bedrooms and one shared room, improving patient choice and increasing the levels of privacy and dignity offered.
The bedrooms will all be much larger in size making it easier for the clinical team to care for the patients, and allowing relatives to stay with loved ones in the same room if desired. All bedrooms will also have improved access to external spaces, allowing patients to make full use of the beautiful gardens and riverside location of Highland Hospice.
There will also be much needed family accommodation for loved ones, three dedicated counselling rooms, and the scope to develop a Virtual Hospice which aims to extend the reach of hospice care across the Highlands.
The current In Patient Unit is now over 26 years old and, at half the size of current guidelines, no longer offers the standards of privacy, dignity and choice patients and their families deserve. It is made up of only four single and two shared bedrooms, all of which are all too small in size, and there is also a lack of space for families and bereavement support.
It is thought the building work itself will take around 12-14 months to complete, with the In Patient Unit having to move to a temporary site in the Fyrish ward at Invergordon County Community Hospital during this period. The day therapies centre and family support team will move to a unit in Cradlehall Business Park which is being specially adapted to meet the needs of these vital services.
In order to fund the building works and to ensure services continue during the construction period the Hospice launched the £4.5m Project Build Appeal in April last year. So far £2.7million has been raised, leaving £1.8million to go. Fundraising will continue throughout the build process.
Kenny Steele, Highland Hospice Chief Executive, said of the latest development in the rebuild project:
“This moves the project from the planning phase to the delivery phase. All being well we should begin the build at the end of April 2015. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Project Build Appeal so far which has given us the confidence to move to this next stage. There remains a significant fundraising challenge ahead of us, but I am confident that the people of the Highlands will ensure we succeed.”