An ambitious new project to provide end of life care closer to home is to see the former Starbeck Library site turned into a care centre for Saint Michael’s Hospice.
Provision for the Harrogate charity’s new community base, which will provide basic outpatient services, has been made possible with a grant of £341,290 from the Department of Health.
And while primary care for people suffering from a terminal illness will still be given at home or at the charity’s Hornbeam Park site, the new centre will allow for a support base for nurses and staff.
“Evidence shows that the majority of local people would prefer to die at home or in a hospice,” said Saint Michael’s chief executive Tony Collins, who said it has taken months of planning to secure funds for the care centre.
“This enhanced community provision will complement the physical, social, psychological and spiritual care already offered at our hospice on Hornbeam Park, through inpatient, day therapy and respite services.”
Saint Michael’s Hospice works with people suffering from terminal illnesses across the Harrogate district, providing end of life care at their homes or at its Hornbeam Park base.
A hospice spokesman said it is still too early to say exactly what will be based at the new Starbeck care site, but that it would likely house an information centre.
Macmillan nurses may also be based here at times, she said, along with community volunteers, an equipment and linen store.
It will essentially provide a support base for those staff helping to treat patients at home.
“Crimple House is the heart of Saint Michael’s,” said Mr Collins.
“But we recognise that to respond to the challenge of meeting local need we must push out into the communities we serve and increase accessibility, extend our reach and support patient choice.
“Saint Michael’s at Starbeck will support this aim by creating a community base for our outpatient, homecare, volunteer outreach and information provision activities.
“This is great news for the communities we serve and we look forward to being able to update our supporters with the progress of the project in the coming months.”
l The annual Saint Michael’s Hospice Star Walk was held in Harrogate last weekend, with hundreds of people turning out to support the charity.
Log on this Sunday for a picture slideshow from the event