At Trinity Hospice and Brian House, the needs of patients are changing, so the building itself also needs to change.
That’s according to Dr Susan Salt, medical director and head of palliative care at the hospice.
Dr Sue, as she is known, said it was down to the hospice to make sure patients had as good a quality of life that they could for as long as they could.
She said: “Our interest is in the patient – not what the disease they are suffering from is doing to them, but how the patient is with that disease.
“What is it stopping them from doing, and is there a way we can change things so they can still do the things they want?”
And that ethos remains the same, even though modern medicine is constantly evolving.
Dr Sue said: “We are seeing patients live a lot longer, which is great, but unfortunately when things change and diseases move on we see far more complex and difficult issues to manage. The main issue is surviving.”
It is because of these changing needs that the hospice on Low Moor Road, Bispham, desperately needs our Hospice Heroes campaign.
The appeal aims to raise £200,000, which will be put towards Trinity Hospice and Brian House’s grant of £280,000 from the Government to radically change the hospice, making it fit for the future.
The work involves creating four new single rooms with en-suite facilities at Trinity, as well as replacing warped windows and making the building easier to navigate for older or confused people.
Brian House will be made brighter, safer and more appropriate for the changing needs of visiting children.
Dr Sue said because people were living to be older than expected with terminal illness, the building needed to be remodelled to help people orientate themselves at times of confusion.
She said: “The reality is that we are going to have an ageing population with people living well into their 80s and 90s when they might be very frail and suffering with dementia.
“We have to adapt our environment, which at the moment is confusing for our well orientated people, to make sure it’s clear.”
Trinity’s facilities manager Simon Hellawell, who is overseeing the refurbishment agrees that orientating confused patients around the building was a key aspect of the project.
He said: “We are probably ahead of the game in designing an environment to work with patients of a confused nature, and that’s a change we are having to build into our plans.
“We need a building that’s accessible and easy to get around in for young adults right up to the very elderly. We need an environment that works for everybody.”
Trinity and Brian House chief Executive David Houston said it was important the work included making the building more friendly for patients and family members with dementia or cognitive impairment.
He said: “We feel very strongly that our patients and their families should be able to move around.”
Donations off to a flying start
Some of the proceeds made at one of the town’s most popular bonfire night events will be donated to our Hospice Heroes appeal.
For every ticket bought in advance for Blackpool Cricket Club’s firework show, organisers will donate 50p to the campaign. And for every family ticket £1 will go in the pot.
And organisers have agreed to let fundraising volunteers, which may even include some Gazette staff, into the grounds to collect on the night.
The club’s chairman, David Cresswell, said: “I am sure our supporters will give to the Hospice Heroes appeal.
“We do get a lot of people turning up on the night, but buying tickets in advance saves having to queue to get in so we would encourage people to buy their tickets beforehand.
“This is the main fund-raiser for the club as a non-profit organisation, but we are happy to support The Gazette’s campaign.”
This a long standing event, which usually attracts around 5,000 people, was first held in 1989.
Advance tickets are available from the club at Stanley Park from 4.30pm on weekdays and from noon at the weekend.
Single tickets are £3, family tickets are £10.