Two brand new patient bedrooms have been officially opened at St. Joseph’s Hospice enabling it to care for more members of the local community.
The two new rooms, located on the ground floor in St. Francis House, were funded by an incredible £20,000 which was raised by supporters and business during last year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.
The hospice now has 31 patient bedrooms, which will enable it to better support the increasing demand for specialist hospice care in Merseyside.
Special guest Maura Foster cut the ribbon to officially open the brand new patient bedrooms. Maura’s husband George Foster was chair of trustees at St. Joseph’s Hospice before he passed away at the hospice just last year.
The two new rooms are very spacious and have their own private en-suites connected by a special ceiling hoist, which enables patients with limited mobility to access the bathroom facilities from their beds. The rooms have been tastefully decorated with a range of lighting options and have been fully furnished with new beds, drawers and wardrobe units.
Margaret Wilkinson (89) from Crosby and Billy Kirkby (77) from Netherton, were the first patients to move in to the new rooms last week.
Margaret was previously at Woodlands Hospice before moving to St. Joseph’s Hospice. She said: “My new room is lovely and very comfortable. I have a wonderful view of the woodland outside and I have access to a hoist over my bed which means I can now use the shower facilities.”
Billy came to the hospice following 12 weeks living at his daughter’s house. He added: “It’s lovely to be the first person to use these new rooms. It is very spacious and I have been able to watch squirrels from my bed, I even saw a fox. It’s very comfortable here and I have settled in very well.”
Mike Parr, chief executive of St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “It was lovely to have Margaret and Billy joining in our celebrations today as we officially opened their new rooms.
”These two new patient rooms have been made possible due to the generosity of our supporters and donors during last year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.
“Around 200 patients are admitted to the hospice every year, to access end of life care and support. Our aim is to make these vulnerable patients as comfortable as possible and this starts with an environment that is calm, pleasant and fit for purpose.
“These additional rooms will have a long-term impact because they have permanently increased our capacity, which means we can now care for more patients every year, helping us to respond to the ever increasing demand for hospice care.
“We were honoured to invite Maura to the hospice today to officially open our two new rooms. George was a very special man who gave so much to the hospice for almost ten years. He was always very keen for us to increase capacity at the hospice so that we could help more members of our community and so it was very appropriate that we paid tribute to George today.”
Pictured (L-R): Hospice carer, Nancy Maher; hospice chief executive, Mike Parr; Maura Foster; Jason Maher and Mathew Cunliffe from Condy Lofthouse Architects; building contractor, David Aspinall; David Bricknell, hospice chair of trustees; and Clare Waller, clinical director at St. Joseph’s Hospice.
Pictured: Margaret Wilkinson with her son in her new room at St. Joseph’s Hospice.