In August 2015 we were pleased to announce our plans to submit a planning application for a new Pease Pottage hospice. While our current site at Malthouse Road is invaluable in providing care to our patients, there is limited room for expansion. Our mission is to reach more people who need our support in the community and respond to the growing demand for our care; to achieve this we need to expand and plan for the future. The plans will be considered by Mid Sussex District Council on 24 November 2016.
This project was made possible thanks to incredibly generous donations from our community including the donations of Mr John Shemeld, who left us a legacy of £6 million, and Mr Bill Bridges who gifted us five acres of a larger 112 acre development, worth approximately £5 million.
To make sure we’re planning the best possible building for our patients and their families we’ve been consulting our clinical teams, people who are experiencing our care and those close to them. We are thrilled to share our initial plans for our future hospice with you – this new building has the potential to make an incredible difference to our community across Sussex and Surrey.
“We know that for many people referred to St Catherine’s the most difficult thing can be crossing the threshold of the hospice for the first time. With that in mind we’ve designed a space that promotes a sense of wellbeing and peacefulness from the moment you walk through the door. With views of gardens and quiet spaces for reflection, we hope the hospice will be a source of comfort for patients and their loved ones and a place they look forward to visiting.”
Dr Patricia Brayden – St Catherine’s Hospice Medical Director
We wanted our inpatient rooms to promote a sense of dignity and privacy whilst being a real home from home for those staying with us. The rooms we are proposing will all have a separate living facility so that patients who are well enough are not confined to a bed and so that family members have a place stay overnight and remain close to their loved one. This room will also provide space for staff to be able to have more private conversations with family members who may need additional support.
The plans include increased outpatient and therapy facilities so we can support more patients with symptom control, emotional support or through providing relaxation therapies, such as hand massage. There will also be a dedicated physiotherapy gym to help patients regain strength and find a renewed zest for life. This gym opens out onto a courtyard area so, in the summer months, exercises can continue in the open air.
We know that coming back to the hospice to remember a loved one can be really important for people, so we’ve included a dedicated spiritual space which is easily accessible from the main reception, so people are able to do this in a sensitive and dignified way.
The plans we’ve submitted in conjunction with Thakeham Homes put the new St Catherine’s Hospice building at the heart of the development. Importantly this will help us engage with the local community; we know from experience that the more contact a person has with their local hospice the happier and more reassured they tend to feel. It’s part of our mission to help as many people as we can and these community links will help us encourage people to start thinking differently about hospice care.
Recognising the beautiful surroundings the new hospice would be a part of, we’ve considered carefully how to design the external space so it remains sensitive to the landscape. With that in mind the planned building would resemble a traditional Sussex-style barn with timber cladding and brick whilst our Inpatient Unit will have a living sedum roof.
“This is a very exciting time for St Catherine’s. If these proposals are accepted, it would help us to realise our vision of reaching more people affected by death, dying and bereavement in our community. Last year we supported 2,178 patients across Sussex and Surrey but, with around 4,000 people needing palliative support in our catchment area every year, we have a long way to go. These new facilities would enable us to support more local people, through providing additional inpatient and outpatient services, when they need us most; building on the great care delivered at our current site in Malthouse Road.”
Giles Tomsett – St Catherine’s Hospice Chief Executive
“The hospice looks lovely – they really have considered everything. I want to die at the hospice and hope I can be one of the first visitors. I really don’t think I could wish for anything more.”
Alison Oliver – one of the patients who consulted on the design
Both St Catherine’s Hospice and Thakeham Homes, the developer managing this planning application, are keen to serve our local community as best as possible. At St Catherine’s Hospice our priority is providing increased care and support services to local people and their families living with a terminal illness. So, our focus has been designing a building that enables us to support more people, in the most dignified and comfortable way, whilst ensuring charitable funds are invested appropriately. As a named beneficiary of this development we are fortunate that the wider proposals and infrastructure improvements have been set out by Thakeham Homes and other consulted experts. They have carefully considered the traffic and ecological impact and how to minimise and improve these. They will be taking on board all feedback, including that of Gatwick Airport and Highways England, to ensure the proposed site is a benefit to the community, the safety of local residents is maintained and disruption is minimised.
While it’s vital we respond to the growing demand for our care and plan for the future, it’s also incredibly important that we continue to provide the high quality care we are known for at St Catherine’s. At the moment our hospice in Malthouse Road is very much our hospice and, until we know if planning permission will be granted, it will continue to be our hospice. How the existing hospice is used in the future will be a decision for our Board of Trustees, if we secure planning permission, and we will share any developments with you once a decision has been reached. Regardless of whether we decide to leave our existing site, the earliest that the new hospice would be built is 2020 and so we have every intention of continuing to invest in Malthouse Road on an ongoing basis for the benefit of all of our patients.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Marketing and Communications Manager, Alison Crouch, at firstname.lastname@example.org