A ‘NEXT generation’ hospice could be built in Bosham under ambitious £12m plans for St Wilfrid’s to relocate.
The charity, which is currently based in Donnington, has purchased land in the village on Walton Lane, the Observer can exclusively reveal.
The ambitious plans are subject to planning permission and St Wilfrid’s trustees say a new, larger hospice is essential after outgrowing the current site.
Chairman of Trustees Angela Wormald said: “St Wilfrid’s Hospice prides itself on the excellence of its services and a new building with greater space and lower running costs will enable us to continue to do this for more patients for many more years to come.
“The present site has been our home for over 27 years but the building is now too small and redeveloping the site is not a cost-effective option for the long term.
“We see this as a superb opportunity to take the vision of our founders forward. We hope to gain the support of our local community to help us to achieve our plans for the future.” The current hospice has 14 patient beds and the new building would have 18 larger en-suite rooms, with the potential of increasing to 21.
The team deliver high quality and completely free specialist palliative care to patients at the hospice and in the community.
The significant growth in the number of patients it supports has led to concerns about the limitations of current space, as well as the availability of parking.
After ruling out redeveloping the current site and considering other locations in the Chichester area, the Bosham land was one of the few areas which met the requirements to also accommodate landscaped gardens and adequate parking at a reasonable cost.
Chief executive Alison Moorey said: “It is anticipated that continuing growth of care in our community will require a new hospice building to accommodate the expansion of the Community Services team as more people across Chichester, Bognor and the surrounding areas are cared for and die at home if that is their wish.
“The desired move is very much for the benefit of all the people we serve across our catchment area and that is why is it so important to us that the council and the wider community will look favourably on the work undertaken by us as a local charity.”
The Board of Trustees acknowledge the plans are subject to district council planning consent and have been working closely with architects to ensure the design is sympathetic to the locality.
If accepted, the project is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2017 at a cost of around £12m.
Founder member and vice president, Dr Sandra Sedgwick, said: “I am immensely proud of everything that St Wilfrid’s Hospice represents and I continue to admire the dedication of all its staff, volunteers and supporters.
“I have every faith that the hospice team – backed by the community that it serves – will provide a next generation hospice that will ensure that the excellence of care continues for another 27 years and beyond.”