Solihull's new hospice opens
PUBLISHED: 10:38 09 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:36 20 February 2013
A £20million hospice opens in Solihull this month after a magnificent community fundraising effort
A 20million hospice opens in Solihull this month after a magnificent community fundraising effort.
It has been three years in the plotting and planning, but the new Marie Curie hospice for the West Midlands will finally open to patients this month, providing residential and day care for seriously ill people at the end of their lives.
The 7 million public appeal to help fund the 20 million complex in Solihull is now within touching distance of its final target, thanks to incredible support from county residents, businesses, schools and groups.
Liz Cottier, hospice manager, said: We have been planning this wonderful facility for a long time. We can now really picture what it will be like when our first patients arrive.
Knowing that the kindness of local supporters has taken us within touching distance of achieving our fundraising target is truly fantastic.
Marie Curie Cancer Care has spearheaded the fundraising drive, called the BIG build appeal. The 6 million milestone was passed in early December, with hopes high that the remaining 1 million will follow shortly if people rally together for one last push.
BIG Build appeal director Noel Cramer said: We are opening the hospice to patients in mid January and our appeal will continue until we raise the final 1 million. Wed invite everyone to help us at this crucial time.
The final 1million is going to be the toughest to raise, a bit like the last mile of a marathon to run, so we hope our supporters can help us reach the finish line.
One way supporters can help is to buy a BIG Parcel of Care. For example, a donation of 20 could buy a blanket for a patient bed, or 100 could fund a visitor chair. Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/big parcels for other ideas.
The new hospice, in Marsh Lane, means there is greater capacity for Marie Curie to support patients with cancer and other serious illnesses.
The site of the current hospice, in Warwick Road, is being sold to a residential developer which is in discussion with Solihull Council about its plans. The sale is expected to be concluded early in the year.
The proceeds will be used to support the new hospice and Marie Curies expanded services locally and across the West Midlands.
The hospice will have 24 single en suite rooms, considerably more than the existing premises and equating to more than 2,500 extra nights of care a year. They also give direct access to the hospice gardens. A day therapy unit will be opened, supporting twice as many people as the current unit. It will offer a range of therapies including complementary therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, reiki and relaxation techniques.
There will be 30 per cent increase in counselling and emotional support services to help ease patient fears and support bereaved families.
The hospice will be a base for the Marie Curie Nursing Service for the whole of the West Midlands, with the focus on outpatient facilities and services to enable 50 per cent more patients to remain