I HAVE written articles about Bury Hospice and the plans for its new home for several years and was looking forward to finally seeing inside the new building.
I have visited its centre in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, many times and know how much staff and volunteers want to move to a larger premises.
The first thing I noticed was how much space there was. Although the new building is much bigger than the current hospice, there is still plenty of space for a pond, landscaped gardens and a car park with marked bays.
It is is a large, modern building with lots of windows. I was greeted by the hospice’s chief executive, Jacqui Comber at the main entrance. There is a large reception desk and walls which will eventually be covered in work by local artists.
Mrs Comber said: “The staff are so excited about moving in. There is some sadness because we are leaving our current building with lots of memories. This is the next chapter for Bury Hospice. We will be able offer so much more and have a lot more patients.
“We are so proud of what we have got and I think the people of Bury have been amazing in helping us raise the money.”
On the ground floor is a large daycare department. The current day hospice is open three days a week, but the new unit will be open every day.
There is a large dining area, with a view into the landscaped gardens, and a small play area for children. As well as patients and their families, the dining area can be used by people wishing to visit for a drink and a cake, in return for a donation to the hospice.
The main daycare room is large, there are lots of windows and the room is bright and airy. It will be used for all kinds of activities, from crafts and photography to music performances and quizzes. The services will also be extended, with a broader range of clinics to allow patients to attend multiple appointments on the same day, in the same building.
We went upstairs in a large, silver lift, which has been designed to have enough space for patients. This part of the building is dedicated to in-patients and there is a lounge area for them to watch television and socialise.
There are 12 bedrooms — compared to five at the current hospice — which have been split into two groups of six, with a nurses’ station.
The first thing I notice when we walk into one of the rooms is how much it looks like a hotel. There are wooden shelves, drawers and wardrobes, and an ensuite bathroom. A safe for medication and an area for medical equipment are both concealed behind wooden panels. Every room has a patio area leading into the gardens surrounding the hospice. The rooms do not seem clinical at all.
The new hospice has a range of other facilities, including bariatric equipment in one of the inpatient rooms for larger patients, visitors’ rooms for relatives to stay, a family dining room, a quiet room for people to reflect and a bereavement room. There is a dedicated room for a book of remembrance, which will feature artwork by college students, rooms for clinics, hospice at home, offices for fundraising and lottery staff.
The new centre has already been put forward for an award from Bury Council as best community building project.
The state-of-the-art faciltites will make it one of the best hospices in the country and people in Bury will benefit for many years to come.