Martin House Children's Hospice near Wetherby outlines plans for extension and revamp

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A Leeds children's hospice has outlined plans to refurbish its facilities and improve the care it can offer to terminally ill youngsters.

Martin House Children's Hospice, near Wetherby, wants to build more en-suite bedrooms, a hydrotherapy pool and create more space for families to have therapy and counselling sessions.

The hospice opened in Boston Spa in 1987.

The hospice opened in Boston Spa in 1987.

The charity says the move is necessary to meet the growing demand for its service.

Martin House opened in 1987 but a number of its facilities have not been updated since.

Now bosses say a number of its rooms and corridors need more space for storage and wheelchairs.

An extra 26 car parking spaces would also be created, if the move is given planning permission.

No formal planning application has been submitted yet, but city councillors will be asked for their first impressions on the idea at a meeting next Thursday.

Papers going before elected members, submitted on behalf of the hospice, said: "The refurbished building will provide more choice and flexibility for families who have a child with a life-limiting condition, enabling the hospice to offer specialist respite care, emergency care, day care facilities, end of life care and care for bereaved families.

"The hospice plan to add en-suite facilities to our new children’s bedrooms, offering privacy and dignity to the children who will use them.

"Plans include the refurbishment of the family facilities, giving parents the opportunity to relax and get a good nights’ sleep and be able to meet other carers in similar situations in suitable social areas."

A hydrotherapy pool, a common feature at other hospices, can assist with pain relief and would be used to help the children at Martin House relax.

The hospice site is technically classed as greenbelt land, on which development is not normally permitted.

However, if the hospice can demonstrate that the benefits of the extension would outweigh any harm to the land, then councillors are allowed to give the idea the go-ahead.

No final decision on the expansion is likely to be made for several months.

Local Democracy Reporting Service