The £1.7m refurbishment of St Elizabeth Hospice has been unveiled. The in-patient unit has been extended and revamped to make it a more welcoming environment for patients and their families.
The major building project, which started last November, is nearing completion and this month is being showcased at a series of public open events which started on Saturday, May 7.
Around 400 people, including Suffolk dignitaries, Hospice patients and supporters, volunteers, local residents and community groups as well as health and social care workers, are expected come and view the new-look facility.
It is the first time the in-patient unit has had a complete upgrade since the Hospice opened in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, more than 21 years ago and the changes start at the main entrance and run throughout the unit.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s chief executive Jane Petit said: “The in-patient unit has been transformed giving it a lighter, more homely feel. We are delighted with the work and the many benefits it will bring our patients, their families, our staff and volunteers.”
The project included modernising the bathroom and kitchen facilities, extending and updating the bedded bays, installing wireless internet and providing individual lighting, heating and ventilation controls for patients around their bedspace.
In-patients have been cared for elsewhere on the site during the refurbishment and will be moved back in to the ward at the end of May.
St Elizabeth Hospice patient (pictured below) Ian Ewers-Larose, 44, of Ipswich, said: “The in-patient unit now has a home from home and peaceful atmosphere and this can play a key part in making patients feel more relaxed and at ease, often at a difficult time in their lives. I think patients and their families will really notice the difference.”
Then the final work will start updating the hair salon in the day unit, used by patients, especially those experiencing hair loss as a result of medical treatment and completing the out of hours entrance.
The building work was part-funded by a £496,000 grant from the Department of Health.
Members of the public are welcome to attend one of the free open events, just drop in, on:
. Tuesday, May 10 6pm-9pm;
. Wednesday, May 11 2pm-5pm
. Thursday ,May 12 2-9pm;
. Thursday, May 19 2-6.30pm