HEALTH bosses are throwing open the doors of a new £12 million hospice.
St Benedict’s Hospice will relocate from Monkwearmouth Hospital in Newcastle Road to the facility at St Benedict’s Way, Ryhope, next month.
In advance of the move, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust staff, which runs the service, has arranged a series of drop-ins during Dying Matters Awareness Week, which starts on Monday.
St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care will accommodate all the specialist services currently housed within the existing hospice, including 14 in-patient beds, day care and lymphoedema and outpatient services, as well as a number of community nursing teams and an education centre.
It was developed by the former NHS South of Tyne and Wear, on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust, in close association with partner organisations.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Lorraine Lambert said: “St Benedict’s Hospice has provided specialist palliative care to the people of Sunderland and surrounding areas since 1984.
“Our Trust is privileged to provide NHS care there and we are delighted that we will now be delivering that care in wonderful, state-of-the-art surroundings.
“Our staff aim to give patients and their families and carers individualised care which maintains their privacy and dignity, and working in these fabulous, new surroundings and with the improved facilities of the new centre, will help them to do that.”
Dr Ian Pattison, chairman of NHS Sunderland Commissioning Group, the new organisation which is now responsible for the planning and purchasing of local NHS healthcare and health services for Sunderland, added: “The hospice will ensure that patients nearing end of life or requiring specialist-led palliative care can access the support that they need.
“It will provide a unique supportive environment for both patients and their families, in an environment that is dedicated to their needs.”
From Monday to Friday, there will be special open sessions for local GPs, other health professionals and partner organisations.
On Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, people can see the new premises between 11am and 2pm.