Severn Hospice unveils new £5 million centre

Bosses at a county hospice have been handed the keys to the charity's new £5 million centre.

Severn Hospice's chief executive Heather Tudor at the new centre
Severn Hospice's chief executive Heather Tudor at the new centre

The new extension at Severn Hospice in Bicton, Shrewsbury, houses the charity's community services and teams, and will allow it to provide better facilities for its day services.

And, in a first, the hospice will be opening a café – serving everyone, not just hospice patients and visitors.

Once the final touches have been made to the building, the first patients are due to arrive from February, with the café opening at the same time – subject to government lockdown restrictions.

The construction of the new extension, which has been built opposite the original hospice building, has taken more than 18 months, and was temporarily interrupted when the site had to shut at the start of the pandemic.

The charity said that during the current national lockdown, interior designers, decorators and construction workers have been able to work safely in a bid to make sure the centre opens on time.

The new build is the hospice’s single largest investment since opening its Telford hospice in 2008, with pre-donated funds, grants and legacy windfalls making it possible.

The hospice’s Chief Executive Heather Tudor said the new building will enable the hospice to meet the changing needs of patients.

She said: “This is a long-term investment in the future of hospice care, born from a commitment that pre-dates the pandemic, and marks the next stage in our development.

“Today, we care for more people, for longer and with a greater range of conditions and complexity of need. Our strategy for meeting this is called Living Well and is designed to help people live as well as they can within the confines of their illness.

“Community nursing is at the heart of this approach as four out of five of our patients are cared for at home rather than on our wards. This new purpose-built facility gives us more capacity, enhancing our services and ensures we are ready to meet the changing needs of patients.”

The new centre houses therapy suites, treatment rooms, visitor facilities and rehabilitation services.

Severn Hospice's chief executive Heather Tudor at the new centre

And for the first time, its creative therapists will have their own dedicated studio.

There is also a learning resource and training rooms for hospice staff and other healthcare professionals.

Mrs Tudor added: “Everything about the centre’s design has been thought through so it is as welcoming and non-intimidating as possible; little touches that will make so much difference to patients when they come to us.”

The new café is also part of the plan, reducing the stigma that hospices are a place for end-of-life care.

Mrs Tudor said: “We are a community service, so we wanted the new building to feel as much like a community space as possible. I love what it says about Severn Hospice and how our care thinks of everything.”

The charity said the building has also been constructed with the environment in mind.

High tech insulation has been used to keep heat in while large skylights flood the building with natural light.

Ground source heat pumps have also been installed along with a water collection system which will be used to irrigate the hospice’s grounds.

Mrs Tudor added: “The face of hospice care is changing, and it is imperative that we move with that. We see that this building will really allow us to increase our services for patients and the community while at the same time being environmentally sound.

“This is a capital, strategic investment in the long-term future of hospice care in the region.”

The organization has also invested in its site at Telford, where although smaller scale investment was required as the building is newer, a new physiotherapy suite was constructed and opened last October.

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