Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies and Horsham MP Jeremy Quin met with trustees and staff from St Catherine’s during Dying Matters Awareness Week to learn how the larger hospice will allow expert teams to care for more people.
Building work is already underway and the MPs were shown how the site will let the hospice expand and how it will improve community, wellbeing, emotional and bereavement care across their constituencies.
Terry O’Leary, chair of trustees at St Catherine’s, said: “It was great to spend time telling Mims and Jeremy more about our ambitious plans for our new hospice.
“The new hospice will allow us to provide enhanced hospice care for generations to come.
“It will also mean we can meet increasing demand for care while supporting other local healthcare and NHS systems.”
The hospice will provide 24 beds on two wards, which is an increase from 18 beds in the current building.
All rooms will offer people a private garden and an ensuite bathroom, and 12 rooms will have adjoining sitting rooms so families can stay overnight.
There will also be family spaces for relatives to relax in.
Staff from St Catherine’s told Ms Davies and Mr Quin that extra beds will allow them to support the work of wider NHS and local healthcare systems.
They said they will provide ‘step-down care’ for people coming out of hospital who are not quite ready to return home.
St Catherine’s also aims to offer respite care to give carers a break from looking after someone at home.
The idea, St Catherine’s said, is to ease pressure on the NHS by helping to stop unnecessary hospital admissions.
The new hospice will also be able to offer more space for outpatient appointments.
Ms Davies said: “We all deserve to live well, but importantly, if a terminal diagnosis is made, we also deserve to live life to the fullest for the longest and be well supported with dignity, when the time comes with our needs and wishes well understood.
“St Catherine’s has a deeply caring ethos that so many local families are grateful for in their time of need.
“I was pleased to see the plans for the new hospice building and see it coming together on the new site in Pease Pottage.
“It was good to see how provision will be increased and how the family and their needs are fully incorporated into the accommodation.
“This will be a fantastic new facility that will enable St Catherine’s to build upon their superb levels of care for Mid Sussex constituents if it is ever needed.”
Mr Quin said: “I really enjoyed seeing the St Catherine’s Hospice team at their new site in Pease Pottage.
“The brand new facility will significantly increase St Catherine’s ability to care for our local residents in their last days whether they are young or old.
“Like so many people in Horsham I have seen first hand the wonderful care provided by their dedicated team and I am very excited by their future plans.”
To find out more about the work of St Catherine’s visit www.stch.org.uk.
To make a donation towards the new hospice visit www.stch.org.uk/newhospice or call the fundraising team on 01293 447361.
Mims Davies is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions and Jeremy Quin is Minister of State at the Minister for Defence Procurement.