Renowned actor Warwick Davis yesterday performed the official opening of the new purpose designed £1.2 million hospice unit within Grantham and District Hospital.
The famous actor was honoured to open the new unit, and captivated staff and patients with his motivational speech. He then unveiled the new plaque declaring the unit open.
“It is a great honour to be asked here to open this pioneering hospice in the hospital, which is providing the benchmark for palliative care across the county,” he said. “After speaking with the patients here, it is clear how important a unit like this is. It really is great to be here and be part of history in the making by declaring this facility open.”
The official opening was staged by St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, who have pooled their expertise in a unique partnership to create the ground-breaking six-bedded unit.
Since it opened its doors in September 2014, the Hospice in the Hospital has cared for more than 221 patients – saving them and their family and friends a 60-mile round journey to currently the county’s only inpatient unit at Nettleham Road, Lincoln.
Warwick was impressed with the palliative care facilities within the Hospice in the Hospital. He said: “Not only are they being cared for in a state of the art facility they are also given access to the specialist care they deserve. The attention to detail in this unit is incredible and the quality of care they are receiving is second to none.”
Michelle Webb, director of patient care at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, said: “We are delighted that Warwick has been able to open this unique unit for us. This partnership provides an innovative approach to providing hospice care locally and has benefited many patients and their families in our community.”
The Hospice in the Hospital harnesses the very latest thinking and research, putting the project at the forefront of best practice to improve end-of-life care across South West Lincolnshire.
Dr David Baker, chair of the executive committee, South West Lincolnshire CCG, said: “For us to get Warwick to open this ground breaking unit today has been a real coup. The close working relationship between the parties has meant that the unit has quickly been recognised as the way forward for the delivery of palliative care. The unit is already receiving very high praise from the many patients and their families who have used the facilities.”
Mandy Charles, matron at Grantham and District Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be able to officially open the unit. We are all very proud of how the hospice in a hospital is working. It brings together expertise from the community and the hospital in partnership working to provide the best care to patients and their families in a unique way. We have been upheld as leaders in the field and recognised at a national level which is fantastic for the staff and patients of Grantham and District hospital.”