Overgate Hospice's ambitious extension plans to create new patient unit gets go-ahead

Chief Executive of Overgate hospice Janet Cawtheray
Chief Executive of Overgate hospice Janet Cawtheray

The Overgate Hospice has been given the go-ahead to extend its facilities by building a new state-of-the-art patient unit.

The hospice in Elland submitted plans to demolish Springwood House and associated ancillary buildings to construct a new 16 bed In Patient Unit and central shared entrance linking this to the existing hospice building.

Planning officers at Calderdale Office have now given the green light for the plans to progress.

Chief Executive of the hospice Janet Cawtheray said: "This is another big step in our journey towards building a new Inpatient unit for the people of Calderdale that will be able to meet the increasing demands and expectations of palliative care services in the future.

"We look forward to your support when we launch a capital appeal, but for now our fundraising efforts are still focused on raising the £7,000 we need every day to continue the wonderful care that we are providing right now."

In the application its says hospice care has changed over the last 25 years since the current Inpatient Unit was built. Patients’ needs have changed as people are living longer and Overgate Hospice are caring for people who often have more complex needs and conditions.

Bosses at the hospice said the current unit will not provide the environment required for the next 10 years plus.

The existing accommodation is four single rooms with no ensuite facilities, and two four-bed wards, which limits the number of admissions due to the wards being male or female.

There are also restrictions for staff as the drug room is too small to meet further demands, and storage for clinical equipment is a constant issue with much of this provided on the third floor of the building.

The plans reveal that new inpatient unit will be approximately 1650sqm with a new shared main entrance linking it to the existing building.

In the proposals submitted to Calderdale Council by planning agents KKE Architects it said: "The idea of a central shared main entrance to the hospice was well-supported, along with the orientation of the IPU projecting in to the garden.

"The staff could see how this would be a huge benefit to the patients and their relatives. The staff emphasised the importance of all bedrooms being clustered around a central nurse base to making nursing efficient.

"The elliptical form of the hospice came from this brief, which is more difficult in a single bedded unit, but has been achieved through careful design.

"The laundry, catering and spiritual space all support both inpatients and day hospice and so these are located centrally. It was identified as essential that fundraising is on the ground floor, but most other departments were relatively flexible"

In order to provide the parking numbers that are likely to be required, it is necessary to demolish Springwood House

As a charity Overgate Hospice are dependent on donations, legacies and fundraising to pay for the care they provide. Overgate Hospice costs £3.5 million to run each year.

The Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG) contribute towards this amount, however £2.5 million is raised from the support of the generous Calderdale community.

Overgate Hospice have an active fundraising programme to generate the £6,800 needed each day to meet their costs.