The Rowan’s Hospice is a local charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with cancer and other terminal illnesses by providing palliative care. Opened in 1994 by HRH Princess Alexandra, they have helped more than 5,000 patients and families across Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. Their range of services include: community and hospital care, day care, in-patient care, spiritual care, bereavement services, family services, psychological services, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
HMDW Architects were awarded the £291,000 contract to design the extension, and worked with main contractor EA Chiverton Ltd. to deliver the project on the 1.5848 Ha site. Funding came from a capital grant issued by the Department of Health.
The scheme includes: an extension to the front elevation of the building to create a covered ambulance entrance, along with a lobby and reception at ground level and additional office space in the roofspace. A particularly interesting aspect of the project was the installation of mezzanine flooring, whilst the scheme also included pitched roofing, brickwork, the installation of both a gas heating system and an electric heating system and wall tiling. In addition, road access for ambulances was improved. External work included the general maintenance of existing features.
Terry Roberts from HMDW Architects noted that the project had to consider the existing residents of the hospice. He said: “The hospice had to remain open throughout the project. It was therefore necessary to ensure, particularly with regards to the ambulance entrance, that patients could still come in without being disturbed.”
HMDW Architects have a wide ranging and rigorous expertise in conservation and restoration, drawing on experience from developments of grade I, II and II* listed buildings. They are also consistently involved in other smaller projects, such as minor redevelopments and landscaping, and have worked with budgets up to £5 million. Their schemes meet the demands of the client, whilst engaging positively with English Heritage, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and other amenity groups. The Principal and Directors each have decades of experience within the field and are AABC registered (Architects Accredited in Building Conservation), and they personally oversee and manage all projects from conception to completion.
The Rowan’s Hospice has previously undergone development. In 2003, the in-patient care was enhanced by a new physiotherapy suite and in 2006 a new hospice Chapel was completed. In 2008, a newly refurbished Southwick suite opened, significantly enhancing their therapeutic environment and providing a stunning facility to support Day Care, The Heath Centre and Bereavement Services – this was funded by a Department of Health grant.
Their philosophy of care is underpinned by the World Health Organisation’s statement that palliative care is: “the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment…The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.” Palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms whilst maintaining the dignity of the patient. It integrates the medical, psychological, spiritual and social aspects of care and provides a support system to live as fully and as actively as possible until death. The Rowan’s Hospice aims to deliver the very best in specialist palliative care to hospice and hospital in-patients, to those living at home, and to those who would benefit from their numerous services.