The Norfolk Hospice Tapping Househas opened its inpatient unit, meaning that for the first time the terminally-ill can stay overnight.
It is named the Dr Hugh Ford inpatient unit, in tribute to the hospice founder.
Over the last three months the number of clients seen at the Hillington facility has grown exponentially.
The inpatient unit will be led by a consultant nurse, Sue Barham, who will work in partnership with GP colleagues from Southgates Medical Centre and the Consultant in Palliative Medicine, from Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
The ward will care for patients in the last few weeks of life initially, and then grow to accept patients with any life-shortening illness who are struggling with symptoms or other issues and need support.
The patients and their families will be cared for by a highly trained nursing team, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker and counselling teams.
Referral to the inpatient unit will be via health professionals only. .
The unit has nine ensuite bedrooms and a large communal area for patients and visitors. Each room has its own private patio area with access to landscaped gardens and quiet pond area.
Each bedroom has Wi-Fi and a TV. The rooms have been designed to provide patients with privacy and dignity during their stay.
Other features of the new unit include a multi-faith room and a large adapted bathroom.
The hospice have appointed local catering providers Edwards and Blake who will provide a full catering service to patients, visitors and staff. The cafe will also be open to the public.
West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group will contribute funding for the unit and Maggie Carter, director of quality assurance, said: “The inpatient unit provides more choice to patients and will offer the highest standards of care and support to patients and their families.”
Lyndsay Carter, chief executive of the hospice, said that this opening represents another milestone achieved for the hospice.
This would never have been possible without the hard work over many years from staff, volunteers, patients, patrons and the many hospice supporters.
Readers of the Lynn News raised £20,000 to equip one of the rooms after the paper organised an appeal.
The hospice provides many services to patients and their families, and since its move to the new location in Hillington it has been able to offer more and more care.
The hospice provides, day therapies, hospice at home services, bereavement support and family support.