New era for hospice care as charity opens state-of-the-art facility
Thames Hospice, one of the UK’s largest and busiest hospices, opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art facility today (12 October 2020), welcoming its first patients and visitors.
Surrounded by eight acres of stunning landscaped gardens by Bray Lake near Maidenhead, the new Hospice will lead the way in palliative and end-of-life care, offering the highest standard of compassionate care and support to thousands of patients and families facing a terminal illness every year.
Debbie Raven, Chief Executive, Thames Hospice, said: “After more than four years of meticulous planning and construction, coupled with a challenging year, we are thrilled to open this incredible facility for our community.
“Our new Hospice will enable us to provide unrivalled care and support to even more local people who urgently need our services now and for generations to come.”
The new facility was designed by KKE Architects with significant input from the Hospice’s Doctors and Nurses.
Commenting on the new building, Phil Kavanagh of KKE Architects said: "We are very proud to have been part of this amazing project which will undoubtedly push forward hospice design in the UK.
“The new Hospice, with its generous, well lit, and highly equipped spaces together with a palette of natural materials on the exterior and a calm and coordinated interior scheme has, we believe, more than achieved all the original aims. The integration of, and direct access to, the landscape for patients, visitors and staff has also been a critical part of this achievement. Access from all key areas to the gardens, which has measurable and positive impacts on wellbeing, has been enabled by the breaking down of the major functional elements of the Hospice into smaller individual elements. This in turn gives a much friendlier scale to the buildings themselves, suggesting more of a village-like cluster rather than a large building."
The construction of the new Hospice has taken 21 months and was led by construction company Andrew Scott.
Mark Bowen, Managing Director, Andrew Scott, said: “We are very proud and humbled to have been chosen to deliver this project for Thames Hospice. KKE Architects’ design, the location and client vision has created a blueprint for future hospice care throughout the UK.
“The new Hospice is a tribute to the whole team and for Andrew Scott to rise to the challenge in building a beautiful and calming environment that will mean so much to so many people.”
21st century inpatient care
The Hospice’s Nursing Team will provide compassionate end-of-life care and support to patients and their loved ones in a home-from-home setting. The new £22 million Hospice includes 28 private inpatient rooms split across three wings (named Kingfisher, Heron and Otter to complement the beautiful lakeside location) creating a homely and intimate environment. Each bedroom comes with an en-suite bathroom, private terrace, and space for loved ones to stay over. Many rooms look out on to the magnificent views of Bray Lake and stunning landscaped gardens.
The new Hospice also has a dedicated space for patients and their loved ones to spend precious time together as well as a bedroom, overlooking a private courtyard, for families and friends to stay over.
Debbie Raven continued: “Thanks to the generosity of all our supporters, we are delighted to have finally completed the move from our much-loved Pine Lodge that has served our community so well for more than 30 years, to our wonderful new building. I am proud to recognise our legacy by naming our new Inpatient Unit the Pine Lodge Inpatient Unit.”
A new dedicated Day Therapy Suite in the Paul Bevan Centre will enable the Hospice to double its day services. This dedicated space provides a safe environment for patients to talk to staff and others sharing similar experiences, as well as an opportunity to take part in a range of activities including arts and crafts, yoga and gardening.
The Paul Bevan Centre is also home to the Hospice’s Rehabilitation Centre where physiotherapists will work with patients to create a tailored exercise plan to improve and maintain their strength, endurance and mobility, using a range of techniques and specialist equipment.
Patients, their families and carers can also access therapeutic and wellbeing services, including complementary therapy, counselling and bereavement support. Lymphoedema services are also available in the new clinic rooms, offering patients specialised treatments and advice on skin care, exercise, compression garments and self-massage to help manage their condition.
Care at home
The Hospice’s Palliative Care Response Team (PCRT) will also be based at the new Hospice.PCRT provides specialist advice, guidance and support to people facing serious illness in the comfort of their own homes, helping to improve their quality of life.
Thames Hospice’s Education Team will provide specialist training on palliative and end-of-life care in a new state-of-the-art Education and Training Centre at the new facility supporting the Hospice’s staff, carers and healthcare professionals across the community.
Café by the Lake and shop
Visitors will receive a warm welcome by the Hospice’s friendly reception team as well as have the opportunity for some retail therapy in a new shop located in the main reception area.
The charity’s new café, Café by the Lake, is open to all visitors and the general public, offering mouth-watering refreshments every day from 8am to 7pm. There is plenty of space to sit inside or enjoy the views of the gardens and Bray Lake outside on the terrace.
Debbie Raven added: “I am so proud of everyone who has been involved in this incredible project, particularly during this very challenging year. There are so many people to thank, from our architects and builders, wonderful supporters and volunteers, to the Board of Trustees and my dedicated staff. We are ready to serve our community now and for generations to come!”