Proposals for new Bury hospice unveiled

Michael Hunt

Bury Hospice has unveiled proposals of a new purpose-built hospice for local people in the area.

The hospice is set to submit a planning application for a bigger hospice at the site of the former St Bede's Church on Rochdale Old Road, Bury, where it hopes to relocate to from its current base at Dumers Lane in Radcliffe. Bury Hospice has been located at its original site since 1991.

The move would allow the hospice to increase the number of beds for in-patients from five to ten and extend and improve its services to people suffering from all types of terminal illness.

Using development funds set aside over a number of years, the Bury Hospice Trustees have brought forward plans to agree terms and acquire a piece of vacant land from Salford Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees which was formerly the site of St Bede's Roman Catholic Church.

The hospice needs to invest £5m to build, equip and open the new hospice. It has a development fund in place of nearly £2.5m and is now set to launch a fundraising campaign to help make up the gap of £2.5m.

The Trustees plan to submit a planning application before Christmas and if planning consent is granted before the end of March, the scheme could qualify for a national Department of Health grant of up to £600,000 towards the build costs. Local people will be consulted on the proposals.

The plans for the site include:

  • Ten fully equipped en-suite in-patient bedrooms, each with access to terrace landscaped garden and outdoor space
  • Enhanced visitor accommodation for families
  • Purpose-built therapy and consultation rooms
  • Extensively landscaped gardens
  • Increased catering facilities
  • Training facilities which will allow the hospice to provide regular and on-going training for staff, other clinical professionals and students
  • Facilities for district nurses, GPs and other specialist services

Residents are being invited to give their views on the proposals at public consultation events from 6pm-8pm on Wednesday 9 December at Fairfield Community School on Rochdale Old Road and 10am-2pm in the Millgate Shopping Centre, outside Jessops, in Bury town centre on Saturday 12 December.

Elizabeth Houghton, chief executive of Bury Hospice, said: "Whilst we have nearly half of the finances in place for the new building, we now have the immense challenge of fundraising around £2.5 million to make sure that plans to open the doors can happen. We welcome all support whether it pays for a brick or a bed, every donation will make a huge difference.

"Our aim is always to make the hospice the next best place to home and the new building will provide a more spacious and comfortable environment for patients and their families to use. We have had an ambition for a long time to create a new purpose built facility that would allow us to extend and improve our services to care for patients with all terminal illnesses. Now we need the support of local people and businesses to help us achieve this ambitious goal."

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