If central Norfolk needs 50 specialist palliative care beds, why are you only building 24?

Aside from the capital expenditure for building, equipping and commissioning a 24 bed hospice; there would not currently be the necessary funding available from the NHS or other sources to provide 50 specialist palliative care beds. The new hospice is being designed to allow for expansion should the funding become available in the future.

Recently, the commissioners have heavily invested in a new ‘Hospice at Home’ service, to provide hospice care in the community as many patients still prefer to die at home. The new hospice will be the co-ordination centre for this service.

What is the difference between Priscilla Bacon Lodge & Priscilla Bacon Hospice?

Priscilla Bacon Lodge is the current 16 bed specialist palliative care facility for central Norfolk. It is one component of the wider service, which includes day therapies, outpatients, psychological services, Hospice at Home, and specialist outreach by consultants, nurses and therapists. It is also the co-ordination centre that ensures all referrals are seen by the most appropriate part of the service in a timely way.

Priscilla Bacon Hospice is the planned new facility, to be built on land adjacent to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. It will offer 24 inpatient beds and all the above services, with the ability to expand the co-ordination centre, to ensure better co-ordination of care.

What do palliative and end-of-life care mean?

Palliative care

The World Health Organisation’s definition is:

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative care:

  • Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • Intends neither to hasten or postpone death
  • Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
  • Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement
  • Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families
  • Will enhance quality of life and may also positively influence the course of illness
  • Is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, (such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy), and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

Specialist palliative care

The active, total care of patients with progressive, advanced disease and their families. Care is provided by a multi-professional team who have undergone recognised specialist palliative care training. The aim of the care is to provide physical, psychological, social and spiritual support.

End-of-life care

Patients are ‘approaching the end of life’ when they are likely to die within the next 12 months. This includes patients whose death is imminent, (expected within a few hours or days), and those with:

  • Advanced, progressive, incurable conditions
  • General frailty and co-existing conditions that mean they are expected to die within 12 months
  • Existing conditions if they are at risk of dying from a sudden acute crisis in their condition
  • Life-threatening acute conditions caused by sudden catastrophic events
Do you have planning permission?

Outline planning permission was granted by the local authority in November 2018. Our designers and architects are now at an advanced stage of the design process and Reserved Matters planning will be sought in due course.

When will the new hospice be open?

We intend to open the new hospice in 2023. In order to raise the required £12.5m we have launched a county-wide fundraising campaign.