At Willen Hospice, our ambition is to always be there to care for local people, both at the Hospice, and in their own homes. We help them to spend their time, pain free, in a way that allows them to live their best life possible. With our growing population and the increased demand on our services, we have ambitions to provide more care, that suits our patients’ needs more effectively, and adds value to their lives.
Our Building a Legacy project will help us to care for patients earlier in their journey and provide 21st Century Hospice care. On this page you can find lots of information below, including a fly-through video, FAQs and the difference our project is going to make. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us on 01908 663636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2020 - We are delighted to confirm that our planning application has been accepted.
When Marjorie Reid and Dorothy Jell opened the Hospice building on Willen Lake in 1981, it gave local people the opportunity to be cared for in a way that hadn’t been possible before. The In-Patient Unit they established provided end of life care that was compassionate and personalised.
For the past 40 years, we have continued to provide care for thousands of patients and their families. We have become a major part of the fabric of Milton Keynes. And while we have always been known for our compassionate and specialist care; the way in which we provide that care is changing. That’s why we are about to embark on the next chapter in Willen’s history.
Our ‘Building a Legacy’ project will deliver 21st century Hospice care for local people. Our plans will see us extend our lakeside home, giving us the space to grow our services so they are fit for purpose to meet the changing needs of our patients, both now and in the future.
The development, which will complement our existing Manor House, will create flexible space that can be used in a range of ways to suit our patients’ needs, helping them to live well, for longer.
- Extending and refurbishing our In-Patient Unit, including 15 homely bedrooms with enhanced facilities to help promote and maintain patients’ dignity and independence. Every room will have a lakeside view creating natural light and peaceful rooms that bring the outside in.
- A new and improved Wellbeing Centre that will offer a more flexible space for ‘drop-in’ services and a variety of activities for outpatients.
- The creation of new spaces for our Patient and Family Services to support the whole family, including better areas for us to support children and young people during a difficult time.
- New spaces to help patients meet their goals to maintain an active life and in turn, improve their mental wellbeing and independence.
- A new kitchen and café that will allow us to produce nutritious meals for patients and enhanced meal facilities for their visitors.
- A new lake view lounge will create a family-friendly environment that allows patients and their families more space to spend crucial time together: no more having to grab space in corridors or cramped rooms.
- It will help us look after people affected by a wider range of illnesses, not just cancer. For example respiratory and neurological diseases, heart failure and dementia.
- Allow us to care for patients earlier, making sure their time is spent in a rich and meaningful way.
- Provide a peaceful and private setting for relatives and loved ones.
- Expand our successful Wellbeing Centre, which gives our patients respite and a place to relax.
- Create a building that allows us to progress our care for the future.
More than half of the costs for the £4M project will be significantly met by generous legacies left to us by our supporters. The remaining amount will be met through our reserve funds and through grant and trust funding. Subject to planning permission, building is expected to begin onsite in early 2020, opening in Spring 2021.
Below is a 'fly-through' and some more artist impressions of what the finished project will look like.
Why do you need to extend Willen Hospice?
Our current building allows us to provide free care for patients on our IPU, those who come in to use our Wellbeing Centre on a weekly basis, and to patients who wish to be cared for at home. However, for every person we care for, we know that there are many more who would benefit from our care.
We want to create a Hospice that meets the future needs of our community. With the growth in population in our area and the demand on the NHS, we have ambitions to provide more care, in a way that suits our patients’ needs more effectively. This extension will allow us to provide that 21st century care that we know is needed for local people.
How much will this cost?
The build will cost £4million. We are fortunate and very grateful that more than half of the funding for the project has been left to the Hospice in the legacies of supporters who specified that the money should be spent on improving the Hospice building. The remainder of the project costs will be met through Hospice reserve funds, and funding secured from Trusts, and Foundations. We hope our local community will also support us to fund some finishing touches to the building.
Will you need to raise money from the public to pay for this?
The vast majority of the funding for this will be met by the legacies we have been left, and our own reserves. We aim to achieve the extra funding we need from Trusts, and Foundations. If required, we will reach out to the public in early 2021 to ask our supporters to offer the opportunity to fund some of the finishing touches to the building, allowing them to be part of this legacy.
Could this money be better spent on patient care?
The generous donors who left these legacies specified that their money must be used to improve our building to serve future generations. The impact of this extension will improve patient care immensely, giving us more flexible and useable space to improve the way we deliver our care now and in the future.
The money from the legacy donors is called non-recurrent funding, which means it would be inappropriate for us to invest in services that would have to cease once the money ran out. By investing in the Hospice for the future, we create the space and opportunity we will need to then bid for further recurrent funding to provide our services and be financially viable for longer.
What will the extension include?
The project will encompass a refurbished In-Patient Unit including 15 homely bedrooms with enhanced facilities to help promote and maintain patients’ dignity and independence.
Each room will have a lakeside view creating light, open rooms that bring the outside in; an improved Wellbeing Centre that will offer more ‘drop-in’ services and activities for ‘outpatients’; the creation of new spaces for our Patient and Family Services to support the whole family, including better areas for us to support children and young people; flexible space to help patients meet their goals to maintain an active life through physiotherapy; and a new kitchen and café that will allow us to produce more nutritious meals for patients and enhanced meal facilities for their visitors; a new lake view lounge will create a family friendly environment that allows patients and their families more space to spend crucial time together, instead of having to grab space in corridors or cramped rooms.
Why aren’t you adding any more beds as part of this extension?
The future of Hospice care is far more varied than delivering care in an in-patient unit. Our future will see us offer more holistic care, and support for people earlier in their journey. Our new extension will give us the space we need to provide drop-in services, break out areas, and family areas that are in far more need than extra bedrooms.
Are you taking down any part of the original Hospice?
No, the original Manor House, which is synonymous with the Hospice will not be affected by the project. Some internal works will take place to improve the building and the layout of the Hospice.
How will this help you reach more people in the community?
The way hospices provide care has changed drastically in the last decade. Rather than focussing on in-patient care at the very end of life, we want to start our journey with people who are living with a life limiting illness much sooner. This could mean offering activities for patients to come in and attend holistic therapy sessions, take part in counselling and advice sessions, or join fitness and wellbeing groups, much earlier in their diagnosis.
It will allow our community nurses teams to develop their service alongside their colleagues in physiotherapy for example, and although patients may receive their main care at home, they could access the Hospice in a ‘drop-in’ capacity, which will help them to feel more familiar with the Hospice.
What will be the impact on the Hospice Gardens?
The development will have some impact on our gardens, however we think this is a good use of the space to ensure we can provide our services for our patients into the future. The extension will allow people to make more use of the gardens as the café area will include outside spaces to sit and enjoy the garden and take in the view of the lake.
When will work start and finish?
We anticipate the build will start in March 2020 and be completed by February 2021.
Will the café be open to the public?
Our café and kitchen will allow us to produce more nutritious meals for patients and enhanced meal facilities for their visitors. It will provide a social space for patients and their loved ones, but it is possible that we will open up to the public at selected times. This would provide an income stream and a place for the community to use and become more familiar with our work.
Can we contribute to fundraising for the extension?
The majority of the cost is being met through legacies, Hospice funds and money that we hope to secure from trusts and foundations. However, we will be offering the public the chance to be part of this legacy by helping us to meet the cost of soft furnishings to create a warm and welcoming place for our patients and their loved ones.
What will be the impact on patients?
Beds will be reduced to between 6-8 beds for a period of 9 months. Our Willen@Home team will be operating to full capacity during this time, visiting patients in their own homes. We will be liaising with local GPs and the hospital to ensure they are aware of the changes for this short period to make sure we can work together to best support patients.
What effect will the building work have on the local roads?
We will work with our appointed contractors to ensure that any disruption to local roads is kept to a minimum.
How will the contractors access the site?
The intention will be for the contractors to access site via Milton Road using the access to the existing lake side car parks through to their site compound.
What hours will the contractors be working onsite?
Working hours will be in line with local authority restrictions and likely to allow the following working hours:
Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm
Sat - 8am – 1pm
Sun & Bank Holidays – no works
Will the lakeside path be affected?
There will be no impact on the lakeside.
How will you mitigate extra noise from the construction?
Construction times will be kept to the specified working hours.
Will there be lots of mud and construction debris around the site?
Our contractors will be part of the considerate contractors programme which means they will keep disruption of any kind to a minimum. The contractors will be required to keep the site and surrounding areas clear of waste and debris and ensure no mud is tracked onto public highways.
How will the development impact on the local wildlife?
A full survey of the site has been carried out and there will no impact on wildlife. A desktop ecology survey has been undertaken and will be issued as part of the planning application.
The Hospice is in a conservation area, is this development permitted?
Yes, there are no restrictions that effect the extension.
Will fundraising events still take place at the Hospice during construction?
Our lakeside events will carry on as usual, although we may make adjustments to registration, start and end points for events like Santa Dash, Lake Run and Scooterthon. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages to see what events are taking place and how you can get involved.
Will there be more cars visiting the Hospice?
The building works will mean that contractors will be visiting the site regularly, however due to the reduction in the number of beds during this time, we expect visitor traffic to reduce.
As part of the project, staff from our finance team will be joining our offsite teams on a permanent basis. This means that fewer staff cars will be driving to, and parking at the Hospice.
When will the building be opened?
The construction will be completed in February 2021 and we plan to celebrate this with an official opening in the Spring. The opening ties in with our 40th birthday, which gives us extra reason to celebrate!