Hospice charities form palliative care link up

An artist's impression of the planned East Coast Hospice Margaret Chadd House

An artist's impression of the planned East Coast Hospice Margaret Chadd House - Credit: East Coast Hospice

A hospice charity that aims to build a palliative care centre for the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area has launched a joint consultation on its future plans.

East Coast Hospice (ECH) wants to build the ten-bed Margaret Chadd House on the Gorleston/Hopton border.

On Thursday it was announced ECH has now teamed up with Ipswich-based St Elizabeth Hospice to create what is called an ‘achievable and sustainable palliative and end-of-life care service’ for people across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Discussions are now taking place between both organisations with a consultation to be launched on future joint services, with the Margaret Chadd House plans being included in the process. 

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich blessing the land at the site of the East Coast Hospice:

A flashback to 2016 with the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, blessing the land at the site of the East Coast Hospice's Margaret Chadd House. Margaret Chadd is seen speaking. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

ECH was formed in 2007 and had said its new palliative care centre would be open by November 2020 following a multi-million pound fundraising drive

No bricks have been laid yet at the charity's Sidegate Road 7.4 acres site and ECH had admitted to taking a financial hit due to the Covid pandemic.

Looking forward to the new partnership, the acting chair of ECH Bridget Low said: “The solution the parties must now devise has to be one that the community can afford to fund year on year and which fits with its current needs for palliative and hospice care.

"That may well be different from the existing plans and could involve a joint venture with a third party, the involvement of commercial partners and/or other charities and partners operating in the same area providing complementary services.

"Every alternative should be considered and we welcome the opportunity to explore these possibilities with an experienced professional partner such as St Elizabeth Hospice.”

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St Elizabeth Hospice has had an existing joint partnership between and East Coast Community Healthcare social enterprise since 2019.

That partnership has delivered specialist palliative care support to more than 2,700 patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Chairman of St Elizabeth Hospice, Ian Turner, said: “We recognise that fundraising for sustainable hospice care is a deep commitment from volunteers and supporters.

Ian Turner, chairman of St Elizabeth Hospice

Ian Turner, chairman of St Elizabeth Hospice - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

"We have huge respect for all the East Coast Hospice supporters who have done so much already to build the funds raised to date for Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

“Our shared goal now is to make sure that those funds are put to the maximum benefit for high quality sustainable hospice care into the future for the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”

MARGARET CHADD HOUSE

The late Margaret Chadd, of Southwold, worked with Dame Cicely Saunders to found the UK’s first hospice in 1967 and had been a ECH trustee.

The plans for the site are at what ECH calls stage 4, involving on-going work with mechanical and structural engineers and preparation of ground works.

In May of last year this paper reported the charity's accounts revealed it made a loss of £74,500 in the year 2019-2020 taking in the first month of the pandemic.

At the time ECH's then chairman Jenny Beesly said there was a raft of costly work going on behind the scenes including a £350,000 archaeological dig on the site in Sidegate Road, and that the costs of running the charity and the shops were all that were being met.

For more information on the work and aims of ECH visit www.eastcoasthospice.org.uk