Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Multi-million pound plans for a new children’s hospice in Norfolk have received a major boost after being granted planning permission.
Bosses from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) submitted proposals for the £10m project in March for a greenfield site at Framingham Earl to replace their hospice in Quidenham.
Officials from the charity, which cares for seriously ill children and their families, spoke of their delight last night after planning approval was granted by officers at South Norfolk Council.
The application was not brought before councillors at a planning committee after any concerns were overcome during a public consultation period.
The charity, which has the Duchess of Cambridge as its Royal patron, is set to launch a major fundraising appeal later this year to build the hospice on a five acre woodland plot at Framingham Earl on the corner of Pigot Lane and Long Road.
• EACH runs hospices in Quidenham, Ipswich and Milton in Cambridgeshire and relies entirely on voluntary donations and fundraising.
• EACH needs to raise almost £6m to deliver its services this year – £16,000 a day, every day of the year.
• The charity delivers a wide range of services through short-break care, emotional and psychological support, symptom management, care at end-of-life and bereavement support.
• The Quidenham site supports 119 children and young people across Norfolk and 191 families through its bereavement support service.
• Visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01953 666767.
Officials said the new Norfolk hospice would meet the increasing demands for the charity’s services and provide even higher quality care, similar to its other hospices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
Graham Butland, EACH chief executive, said there was no room for expansion at their site at Quidenham, near Attleborough, which has been used as a hospice for more than 20 years. The build will only commence following a successful fundraising period.
He said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the application approved so our vision of a purpose-built children’s hospice for Norfolk can be realised. The current Norfolk hospice in Quidenham has provided care and support for more than two decades and has been a home from home for families, but it’s very restricted in its facilities and development and a new hospice will bring the county in line with services we offer in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.”
“We’d like to thank everyone involved in the project so far. We’re over the first hurdle in gaining planning permission, but we’ve now got the challenge of encouraging the good people of East Anglia to help us raise the funds needed to build and equip the new hospice.”
• More choice and flexibility for families.
• Improved accessibility and specialist equipment across the whole building, enabling nursing staff to deliver care more easily and safely. Quidenham is a two-storey building, but the new care area would be on one level.
• A hydrotherapy pool – EACH offers highly beneficial hydrotherapy at their Milton and Ipswich hospices but does not have the space for a pool at Quidenham.
• Far better dedicated facilities for play and music therapy, and more appropriate areas for older children and young people.
• Better and more appropriate family accommodation.
• Dedicated bathrooms for all bedrooms.
• Improved facilities for on-site family support groups and activities.
• Nearer to the centre of the county making it easier for many families to visit and easier access to the county’s hospitals.
Before submitting the planning application, the charity held a presentation day at Poringland Community Centre in January and received overwhelming support from local people. EACH already has a legal agreement in place with the option of buying the land.
Tracy Rennie, EACH director of care, added: “This news has been welcomed by us all at EACH and it’s a step in the right direction for children’s palliative care and support in the county. A purpose-built hospice which is easily accessible and offers facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool, private areas for clinical treatment and dedicated rooms for therapies will make a big difference to families using our services.
“Not only will the facilities greatly improve how we care for families, but the location of the new hospice in Framingham Earl will also make it easier for many families to visit and will provide closer/easier access to the county’s hospitals.”
If you’d like to register or pledge your support for the forthcoming fundraising appeal to build a new children’s hospice for Norfolk, contact the EACH Norfolk fundraising team on 01953 666767.
Has your family received help from EACH? Email firstname.lastname@example.org