Hospice rebuild due to commence December 2020

As many of you may be aware, our hospice is set to be demolished and rebuilt from December 2020.

It was built almost 23 years ago and, because technology and clinical care has advanced since then, it was decided that a complete rebuild was needed to ensure we provide the best level of care well into the future.

The research for this project started two years ago and many of our families have provided  input into what our new hospice should look like. The architects we’ve engaged have done a thorough job in getting us to a near-final design and  Alan, one of the architects, has worked on hospice builds in the UK and has travelled extensively around the world visiting other hospices. The team also based themselves inside the current hospice for a period of time, they’ve met with families and staff, travelled to Hummingbird House in Brisbane, all of which has given them an excellent understanding of our needs.

The new hospice will be three levels and includes separate spaces for art and music therapy, a multi-sensory room, a soft play space, improved clinical room, additional therapy services, including a hydrotherapy pool, and technology to provide clinical care excellence for children with complex care needs.

We have also recently appointed Montlaur, a project management company, who bring strong capability, and experience, and specialise in health projects.  They were also engaged in the refurbishment of the family accommodation units in 2015.

In terms of the arrangements for when the hospice does close, expected to be for 15-18 months, we haven’t finalised those yet. We will be trialling an in-home care pilot and looking into alternative spaces for respite care, but I will be in a better position to share the closure plan in March or April.

The current hospice will operate as usual until at least November/December 2020. Bookings for hospice respite will continue as normal until communicated otherwise.  Events and fundraising activities for 2020 will also go ahead as normal.

We have a major fundraising project in the works that will fund the remaining $7.5m still required for the rebuild following the Federal Government’s $7.5m contribution earlier in the year. Our partnership with the Victoria Racing Club and its Pin and Win fundraiser is helping to raise funds for our new hospice.

There’s still a lot of work to do, but we should all feel proud that, in a few years, we will be providing you, our families, with the most state-of-the-art hospice in Australia.

Please continue to check the Special Lives newsletter, our social media channels and website for further updates.