Contractors move in to build �1.5m Palliative Care East centre in Gorleston
Builders are now on site to construct the new �1.5m Palliative Care East in the grounds of the James Paget University Hospital.
Suffolk-based ISG - the contractor - began preliminary work on site this week with the building due to be completed in December 2012.
The Palliative Care East (PCE) appeal was launched in 2006 with the aim of establishing an information centre that will help people with incurable illnesses such as cancer, respiratory, neurological, and cardiac diseases.
And that vision is moving closer to reality.
Interim chairman of the James Paget University Hospital, Peter Franzen, said: 'We're delighted that ISG are starting work and this marks an exciting time for the appeal.
'Local people have been so very generous and it's great to see that generosity and hard work paying dividends now.
'This centre will make such a difference, not only to patients with incurable diseases but also to their friends and families.
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'Having access to information, help and support from the local NHS and local charities will help thousands of local people'.
The new centre will host a range of information and supportive care services provided by a wide range of organisations working in partnership.
These include the NHS, local cancer charities, patient support groups, and bereavement groups.
Bernard Clarke, the managing director of contractors ISG South East, added: 'The start of this project is an extremely important moment for everyone involved in this impressive fundraising effort.
'As a purpose-built resource to focus patient support and advice, the new centre will undoubtedly become an invaluable regional healthcare asset.'
The centre will not provide palliative care beds, and will be about living life.
Many people need help to live as full a life as possible when they have an incurable condition.
The Palliative Care East centre will provide them with access to advice and support and will also signpost them to appropriate community services.
The new centre is a stand alone building being built on a greenfield site at the northern end of the James Paget University Hospital site.
The architects are Norwich-based LSI Architects.
The new information and supportive care centre at the James Paget University Hospital is expected to open by Christmas 2012.
It is estimated 10,000 people a year will use the centre.