Purpose-built hospice taking shape

Purpose-built hospice taking shape
An artist’s impression of the Nelson Tasman’s new $11.5 million hospice in Stoke is due for completion in December.

The first sods have been turned and foundations laid for Nelson Tasman’s new purpose built Hospice, due for completion in December. Serving an area from Murchison to Golden Bay with a population of nearly 100,000, the new hospice combines in-patient facilities and administrative services.
Currently, the hospice leases space from Manuka Street Hospital in Nelson for in-patient care, while administrative services are run from nearby buildings owned by the hospice.
Although only a small proportion of patients with life limiting illnesses spend time in the hospice’s in-patient facilities, Hospice Marketing and Fundraising Manager Paul McIntyre says there has been exponential growth in the number of patients in the community requiring support and care from hospice services.
He says that at any one time there are about 160 patients under the care of the hospice – mostly cared for in people’s own homes and rest homes.
There are five permanent staff and 45 part-time staff working at the hospice, providing palliative care in the unit and out in the community.
Paul says that over the years the funding trust at the Nelson Tasman Hospice has built up funds through investments, bequests, fundraising and through their five shops.
It was done with the aim of buying a site and building a made-for-purpose facility, combining all the features of the hospice under one roof. Having been asked to leave the current site, the board actively sought a suitable site buying 1.4-hectares in Suffolk Road, Stoke.
Nelson construction company Gibbons was appointed as the lead contractor to build the new $11.5m hospice.
The architects on the project are Andrew Irving from Irving Smith and Canopy Landscape Architects. “It’s an exciting project and the biggest in the hospice’s 30-year history,” says Paul.
“There’s an absolute need for the care we provide and with this new building we will be able to give more of the same excellent specialist palliative care, plus have onsite clinics.” While the number of in-patient beds is not increasing there is room to expand in the future.

Purpose-built hospice taking shape
Large landscaped gardens, native trees and a daffodil garden will be features of the new Nelson Hospice.

“For the first time we’ll have a family flat which will be available for families to stay in. We’ll have an education and training room for our team to train other healthcare professionals. There’ll also be a day therapy room and a kitchen for the first time as well, providing meals for the patients.”
One of the key features of the new hospice will be the large landscaped gardens planted with 80-100 native trees, and a major daffodil garden at the front.
Each in-patient unit will have a wooden deck overlooking the gardens and there will be internal courtyards and seated areas. With $7.5m of Trust funds set aside for the build and fit-out, Paul says $4m is being sought through grants, in-kind donations and from the community.
“This is very much a community project, for which there has already been a great deal of support – because we are not only supporting the patients but their families as well.”
Scheduled for completion in December, the hospice will be operational in January next year with a formal opening in February.
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