The Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford has unveiled its £1.5m refurbishment which has transformed the Day Therapy Unit into a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that will improve the care received by terminally ill patients.
The development, which was funded by the Morrisons Foundation and Sovereign Health Care, will also enable the hospice to double the number of people it can support and enhance the range of services provided.
During the unveiling of the revamp, a special hydrangea was planted in the outpatient unit garden by Marie Curie nurse Pauline Bates.
The hydrangea was planted at the wishes of former patient Joyce Spurgeon, who was an outpatient at the hospice after she was diagnosed with a rare form of Motor Neurone Disease.
Pauline cared for Joyce, and after discovering their shared love for gardening used to take her through the gardens in her wheelchair. Pauline later bought a hydrangea from Morrisons – a favourite of them both – which Joyce would water each week.
As Joyce’s health deteriorated, she was admitted to the inpatient unit at the hospice, where she later died in December 2016. Before her death, she wrote a note for nurse Pauline, wishing her well and asking her to take special care of her hydrangea.
Pauline said: “I remember fondly walking round the garden and Joyce pointing out which flowers were which. I was really touched when I received her note. When we realised the new building for the Outpatient Unit was going to be where her flower is planted it just felt right that we’d move it and keep it safe for her.”
Joyce’s daughter, Debbie, was invited by hospice staff to its breaking ground event last September to rescue her late-mother’s hydrangea, so it could be kept safe during the building work.
A donation of almost £500,000 from the Morrisons Foundation funded a lounge extension and refurbishment, a new rehabilitation kitchen, refurbished medical consultation room, day therapy office, and accessible bathrooms. Other new facilities include an enlarged gym, and therapy room.
David Scott, Morrisons Foundation trustee, said: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to support such a worthwhile and fantastic project for Marie Curie here in Bradford. It is wonderful to be involved in this redevelopment which will allow Marie Curie to improve the lives of many more people in our local community."
Bradford based Sovereign Health Care donated more than £100,000 towards the refurbishment fund.
Russ Piper, chief executive of Sovereign Health Care, said: “The work being undertaken by the staff at the Marie Curie hospice is remarkable, and we’re immensely proud to be contributing to a cause that works hard to support people in need within our local community. We are proud to have supported Marie Curie for over 20 years, and our latest donation takes our support total to over £830,000.
“To see the transformation of the hospice over the years is both remarkable and impressive – a real testament to the special people who work there.”
The Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford was purpose-built to provide specialist care to members of the local community affected by terminal illness, as well as extending services to their carers and bereaved loved ones. In recent years, the charity has identified that those needs are evolving and increasing as the population ages.
Jo Whincup, manager at the Bradford hospice, said: “We are so grateful for all of the donations, which enabled us to complete the redevelopment of the outpatient unit at the hospice.”
“The new unit has created a space for patients to not only receive the care they need and deserve at the end of their life but is somewhere for them to relax and express their feelings through art and music therapy or gain strength during tailored therapy sessions in the newly developed gym.
"We also now able to provide bereavement support to families in a dedicated suite. Their generosity will reach so many and means so much to local people and their loved ones.”