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£20m rebuild for St Columba's

posted 13 Nov 2008, 06:20 by myEdinburgh Admin   [ updated 13 Nov 2008, 06:24 ]
An Edinburgh hospice is set for a £20 million redevelopment to turn it into a "world-class" facility.  Under the plans which were lodged today with the city council, St Columba's in Granton will be completely rebuilt.

Although the capacity itself will not increase, patients will enjoy more space and privacy and a new education wing will be built on land recently acquired by the hospice, which is one of only two in the Lothians.

A massive fundraising campaign is now expected to get under way to help fund the new hospice.

A timeframe for the redevelopment has yet to be decided, but resident patients will continue to be catered for at the hospice throughout the building process.

Dr Fred Benton, St Columba's medical director, said the improvement was necessary for the hospice – built in the 1970s – to move with the times.

"People are living longer and advances in medicine mean that our remit is wider," he said.

"We need to rebuild the hospice to ensure that we are able to provide exactly the right facilities to support our patients and their families; delivering the right treatment at the right time, and in the right place for our patients."

The 30-bed in-patient unit will be rebuilt offering better facilities and more single-bed rooms to care for people with advanced, progressive illnesses.

With the extended site on Boswall Road, a more extensive out-patient service will be developed, with more purpose-built consultation rooms and therapy rooms for both physical and emotional treatment.

And the hospice's education programme will also be able to expand. Thanks to the acquisition of land next to the current building, a lecture theatre and seminar rooms are also included in the plans, allowing doctors, nurses and students from across the country to visit St Columba's.

Nursing and administrative director Margaret Dunbar said: "St Columba's has a long history of providing the best possible end of life care for patients, while also providing essential support for their families, carers and friends.

"This development will mark a new phase in the history of St Columba's enabling us to maintain our position at the forefront of palliative care services."

The hospice has a close relationship with NHS Lothian, which part funds it and allows it use of its facilities and vehicles, and during the rebuild the nurses will visit patients in their own homes to continue care.

By ADAM MORRIS

Source: Edinburgh Evening News

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