Huge cash boost for new building at city hospice

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More than £400,000 will be spent on a new family liaison centre and “garden of contemplation” at a Lancaster cancer charity.

St John’s Hospice, in Slyne Road, has received £429,529 from the government in partnership with the Help the Hospices charity, and the cash will go towards a new department to make the early days of care for those with life-limiting conditions easier.

The family liaison centre is due to be built this year, built on top of the existing offices.

The new building will aim to provide a space where patients can go with their families to meet all the necessary specialists at one time, in an appointment arranged by the hospice.

Sue Mcgraw, chief executive officer of St John’s, said: “The family liaison centre will make the initial process quick and simple to avoid the patient having to book lots of different appointments with lots of different people.

“By having all the specialists in one room at the same time, the situation will become clear to the patient and family members, and the appointment will also give them a feel of what St John’s is like.

“Patients are often wary at first, but they soon realise what a friendly and accommodating place St John’s is.”

The new building will also act as the single point of access for palliative care in North Lancashire.

A new “garden of contemplation” with wheelchair access, will also be created.

While it costs the hospice over £600 a day per in-patient, there is no charge for any of the services St John’s offers.

The NHS covers around a third of St John’s staff and running costs, the rest being funded by the local community through donations and fundraising events.

The next events, on Saturday, June 8, are two Moonlight Walks for females aged 12 and over at 10pm (14k) and midnight (25k).

The walks are great fun and in previous years they have helped to raise much needed funds.Registration for the Moonlight Walks must be done in advance.