A project to redevelop St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich is well underway and is on track for completion in November this year.
The new facility has been designed to create a welcoming and comforting environment for patients, carers, families, staff and volunteers from the moment they enter the hospice.
The front of the hospice has been fitted with an attractive new facade; lighting and signage, an automatic set of doors have also been installed to allow for easy access. The lobby holds storage space for patient’s personal wheelchairs and also contains the reception area. The space provides a free-flowing circulation area for guests as well as housing an Information Exchange with written, audio and online information provision.
The Lobby also gives access to the multipurpose therapy suite with rehabilitation and gym equipment, space for group work and exercise classes, cloakroom storage and additional DDA compliant toilet facilities.
After passing through the reception space, various Day Service areas are accessible all providing light and airy facilities. The building will be made more welcoming and cosy through the use of a wide variety of art works and residents will have the use of quiet reflection areas, exercise classes, outpatient clinics, and art and music therapy sessions.
Therapy sessions will all be provided in the Therapy area; The Atrium, or in the single consulting rooms. The Atrium is the main patient space and will provide a floor space three times the size of the current lounge. The space makes the most of the natural light and garden views through the usage of a floor to ceiling glass wall, double height glazed elevation and light tubes.
The Atrium will also be installed with moveable dividers to offer flexibility; a drinks station will also be installed to encourage patients to socialise and maintain their independence. An ‘xy’ tracking hoist is also being installed in the Atrium to support people with mobility needs. The Atrium also offers an alternative dining area to the main Hospice dining room and activity spaces.
The consulting rooms are also being refurbished using a palette of colours and finishes that make the environment accessible for all patients, including those with visual impairments.
Premier Construction caught up with St Elizabeth Hospice Chief Executive, Jane Petit, who has been at the hospice for five years. She said:
“The redevelopment project is necessary because we have a growing number of people requiring end of life care due to an increasing elderly population. People are living longer with more difficulties in later life; as well as this we are now focusing on ensuring that people with a varying range of disabilities and ages have access to care. Due to this expansion within our services we require more up to date facilities to cater for all our patients.”
Jane said that during the redevelopment project, services have been moved in order to cause less disruption to patients. The Education Department is being utilised for Day Services and the education facilities are being run from different sites either on or off site. She added:
“The quality of care we deliver is integral to all the work we do. However we know the staff need a state of the art environment to provide this care and this development is helping us to achieve this.”