Trustees agree vision of Durham hospice's future

The Advertiser Series: Outside St Cuthbert's Hospice Outside St Cuthbert's Hospice

TRUSTEES have agreed a five-year vision for a hospice’s future, as its 25th anniversary celebrations come to a close.

St Cuthbert’s Hospice’s Strategic Plan 2013-18 includes plans to add three beds to its ten-bed in-patient unit, strengthen its clinical services, achieve round-the-clock admissions and provide additional nursing home beds.

Leaders at the facility, in Merryoaks, Durham City, also hope to expand its education, research and training work and develop its community-based operations.

A public consultation on the proposals was held earlier this year and they have now been agreed by hospice trustees.

The extra in-patient beds would be provided in existing rooms, although some internal works would be needed.

It is expected the changes will increase the facility’s annual running costs by £130,000, to £2.43m.

The hospice currently receives around £850,000 a year from the NHS but the remaining £1.45m must be raised through events and donations.

Hospice leaders hope to meet the extra costs by attracting more regular donors, with a high-profile recruitment campaign expected early next year.

The news comes as the hospice’s 25th year of providing care for people with life-limiting illnesses ends.

Fiona Vallis, the hospice’s deputy chief executive, said: “Celebrating our 25th anniversary during 2013 has been fantastic.

“It saw a very special 25th Midnight Walk, with 700 ladies taking to the streets of Durham to raise money, a well-supported Silver Knights Ball and a celebration of the anniversary at the Ramside Hall with our many volunteers, as well as a whole host of other special fundraising events.

“Our annual general meeting was especially poignant, with the broadcaster John Grundy hosting the occasion, taking a look back at the history of the hospice and its 1988 creation.

“We’re now focusing on building our services for the future and reaching our next big landmark.

“We can’t thank the local Durham community enough for their continued support.”

The 25th anniversary year ended on a high as hundreds of people attended the Light up a Life appeal service in Durham Cathedral on Sunday, December 15.

For more information on the hospice, visit stcuthbertshospice.com or call 0191-386-1170.

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6:56pm Thu 26 Dec 13

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