Transformation begins to turn three bedded bays into nine modern bedrooms to allow families to sleep by their loved ones’ side

The design of Ashgate Hospicecare’s 30-year-old hospice wing is unable to fully meet the changing needs of our patients and their loved ones. However, Hospice staff plan to bring families closer together by transforming and modernising their three-bedded bays into nine individual bedrooms, giving patients a private space to be surrounded by those close to them.

The vision to create a homely and welcoming space at the Hospice will transform care, privacy, family time, space and dignity for patients and their families across North Derbyshire.

Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “We believe that every person matters and they matter until the end of their life. The time that patients and their families spend with us will often be the most precious days and nights.

We offer patients outstanding nursing and medical care, however, for many of the people on our Inpatient Unit, we are no longer able to offer them the privacy and dignity that they deserve and that we would all want for ourselves or for someone we love.”

Dr Sarah Parnacott, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “When the Hospice was first opened, the three-bedded bays were built, and these have not changed over the last 30 years. However, the needs of the patients that now come into the Hospice have changed dramatically.

The biggest challenge that the three bays create for our patients is the lack of privacy. There are three bed spaces very close to each other, only separated by a flimsy curtain. Whenever possible, we do try and move a patient who is nearing the end of their life into a single bedroom to afford them greater privacy and dignity, but that’s not always possible. When a patient is dying in one of the bays it can be very distressing for other patients sharing the bay and their families.

Turning the bays into nine beautiful single bedrooms will give our patients and their families a spacious, private and dignified environment. It will also give our staff the power to care for more people.”

Ashgate Hospicecare wants to ensure that future generations can access hospice care when they need it. The needs of the North Derbyshire community have changed in the last 30 years. The renovation of the old wing will not only enable the Hospice to meet those needs, but also meet the outstanding standards of the Care Quality Commission.

Greg and Lauranne share what Ashgate Hospicecare meant to them when Lauranne’s sister, Julie, came onto the ward. Julie had brain cancer and, as she became more poorly, her family cared for her at home. However, when Julie’s symptoms became unmanageable, she was admitted to a single bedroom on our Inpatient Unit at the Hospice.

They said: “The Hospice provided us, as a family, with so many precious moments together. We feel incredibly lucky that Julie was able to have her own bedroom. I can’t imagine half of those moments being possible in a bay. We wouldn’t have all fitted around the bed that’s for sure.”

Ali Ward-Foster, Capital Appeal and Partnerships Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “Since we opened our doors 30 years ago, we have always prioritised our spending on the front-line services that enable us to care for patients and their families. Raising funds is a constant challenge; we rely on generous donations and gifts in Wills for over 70% of our funding. We hope local businesses and people will support the Hospice with an additional donation for this project.”

Want to find out more about how you could support this amazing project and how your support could make a difference to the lives of local people? Just call Ali, Capital Appeal and Partnerships Manager on 01246 567250 or email: alison.ward-foster@ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.

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