Why does Norfolk need a new specialist care hospice?
"You matter because you are you and you matter until the last moment of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully but to live until you die." - Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement
The need for a new hospice
Over the past 40 years, the population of Norfolk has increased significantly, as has the incidence of terminal or life-limiting illness. Changing patterns of life mean that care within the family unit is not always possible and there is a greater need for respite and day care.
In 2017, there were more than 11,500 deaths in Norfolk and Waveney. It is estimated that around 70-75% of these would benefit from some form of palliative care – as an inpatient, in the community, or through the day centre.
Norfolk has one of the lowest levels of specialist palliative care provision of any English county. Commissioning guidelines indicate a requirement fr 47-59 specialist beds and we currently only have 16 – in Priscilla Bacon Lodge.
The constraints of Priscilla Bacon Lodge’s city centre site mean that no further expansion is possible. Availability of parking is an issue for those visiting terminally ill loved ones, or coming to the day centre.
In Norfolk, we have an increasing population, people are living longer and developing more complex care needs. The demand for specialist end-of-life care is continuing to grow.
What about Priscilla Bacon Lodge?
Opened in 1979, Priscilla Bacon Lodge is a much-valued part of Norfolk’s healthcare landscape. Yet, with only 16 beds, the building, facilities and surrounding environment no longer meet the needs of our community.
The level of occupancy in the 16 beds at Priscilla Bacon Lodge is 92.6% – far higher than the national median of 78.5%. This means beds are full almost all the time, incurring a waiting list and the possibility that patients may not be admitted promptly.
There is an urgent need to update and improve Norfolk’s end-of-life care provision. The new Priscilla Bacon Hospice will provide more people in Norfolk with the quality end-of-life care they desperately need. It will be the most modern facility in the region, with a greater number of beds and a wider range of community day care and outpatient services.