A refurbishment which will improve the in-patient unit at St Elizabeth Hospice is under way.
The modernisation package was announced in April and the aim is to enhance the Hospice’s environment making it an even better setting for patients and their families.
Building work for the £1.7 million project has now started and will last approximately six months.
The Hospice, in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, will remain open and patient and family services will be provided to the same high standard while the work is continuing.
Measures have been put in place to try and ensure there is as little disruption as possible during the work.
The main part of the Hospice building was purpose-built 21 years ago to serve patients from all over East Suffolk.
The in-patient unit and areas leading to it will form the focus of the refurbishment. There will also be improvements to the building’s main and out-of-hours entrances.
Plans for the in-patient unit include:
. Redesigning some areas to improve patient comfort and privacy
. Modern lighting to enhance the environment where patients are cared for
. More homely and welcoming fixtures and fittings
. A new reception area in the unit
. Upgraded kitchen and bathroom facilities
. Improved hospitality area for relatives and carers
. Clearer signage
There are also plans to improve the hairdressing salon, currently located in the day unit, which is widely used by patients, particularly those facing hair loss as a result of medical treatment.
During the building work, which is part-funded by a £496,000 grant from the Department of Health, the in-patient unit will be relocated in the day unit. During this time, day care patients will be accommodated in another part of the building, which has been vacated temporarily by administrative and support staff who will be based in offices on Ransomes Europark for the duration of the refurbishment.
St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Jane Petit said: “These are exciting plans which will improve the environment for patients and families from the moment they enter the Hospice and make it a more homely and welcoming setting.
“We have worked hard to ensure our patients and their families and carers understand why this work is being done and how it will benefit them and those who use our services in the future.
“They have welcomed the improvements and we have also had positive feedback from our staff and volunteers. A great deal of behind-the-scenes work has been going on in recent weeks to ensure our patients have the same high quality palliative care during the refurbishment and I would like to praise all the staff and volunteers for ensuring these preparations have gone as smoothly as possible.”
The building work is being carried out by Hutton Construction.