Willow Burn Hospice

Willow Burn HospiceWillow Burn Hospice

How will sponsoring a tree in Willow Burn Wood help Willow Burn Hospice?

By sponsoring a tree, you are investing in the Willow Burn capital fundraising campaign. All sponsorship monies raised through Willow Burn Wood will be invested in the development of a new purpose built hospice.

About Willow Burn Hospice

Willow Burn Hospice was opened in 1989 for day care services, with the addition of four inpatient beds as from 1991. Willow Burn Hospice is a Registered Charity (Derwentside Hospice Care Foundation) 519659 and a Company Limited by Guarantee 2263960.

Willow Burn Hospice delivers palliative and end of life care to the Derwentside and Durham community. It offers a range of services including; inpatient care (for pain relief, symptom control and respite care;) day hospice services which are delivered in the form of a rehabilitation programme, based on healthcare outcomes. The average length of stay is 9 days, with 40% of patients receiving end of life care, the remainder receiving support that enables them to go home at the end of their stay. This is due in part to the fact that many of the hospices’ patients have long term health conditions and the hospice offers support to them during palliative phases as well as end of life care.

The hospice is situated within a previous NHS Hospital site known as Maiden Law which was closed in 1999; the surrounding buildings have since fallen into a state of disrepair although the remainder of the site is earmarked for future residential development (with outline planning approval recently granted). Willow Burn Hospice shared the external grounds and gardens with the former hospital, along with other independent healthcare providers who have also since moved out.

An enclosed patio area is provided for Willow Burn Hospice patients together with families and friends. Predominantly volunteers maintain the immediate garden areas in and around the hospice buildings. There are no visitor restrictions imposed and all patients have individual rooms within the four-bed inpatient area. Patients are referred to Willow Burn Hospice by their GP, Consultant or Macmillan Nurse and they are cared for by the staff that have extensive knowledge and understanding of palliative and end of life care.

Why does the hospice need a new building?

The existing building is old, inefficient, cramped and expensive to maintain; to progress, the hospice needs to have a modern, clean and environmentally friendly building that will integrate with new restorative sensory gardens in the current location which is simply idyllic. Whilst the hospice has looked at alternative sites and buildings, it is intended through the purchase of land to stay on the existing site and completely rebuild the resource to provide world class facilities.

An experienced Design Team was appointed and started preparing initial concept schemes and following selection of the preferred option for design, the project started in earnest in January 2010 with formal Design Team meetings taking place on a regular basis to develop the scheme to its current level which is RIBA Stage G.

What type of building will be built to replace the existing hospice?

Willow Burn Hospice

The concept design aimed to use the best location within the existing hospice site to use the gradient to its advantage and maximise the views. The main accommodation wing is positioned to take advantage of the views with the service rooms to the rear. The building is orientated around two axis walls and the main wall cuts through the building from the entrance through to the contemplation walkway. The boundary between internal and external will be blurred by materials that will interact with the sensory landscape.
The concept consists of two pure “barn” forms with contemporary detailing for the glazed link section. The inpatient area is situated under a green roof supported by laminate timber beams. The circulation spaces are designed to be interesting and definitely “non institutional” and this is achieved in part by introducing curved feature walls that are generous for space and free movement.

Will the building have any green credentials?

The day to day running costs will be reduced by introducing highly insulated materials in construction, the employment of energy efficient heating through a ground source heat pump and high thermal performance of the external envelope along with rainwater harvesting and recycling. The building is designed with excellent levels of thermal efficiency.

Six inpatient beds will be available and several entirely new facilities will be provided in the new build project that the hospice does not currently have; including multi-functional suite, family support rooms, additional therapy rooms, and a contemplation room. Willow Burn Hospice already provides an exceptional level of staff care that is recognised both within the profession and the local community. The new facilities will aim to make a considerable difference in providing end of life care.

How much has been raised so far towards the capital campaign?

A total of £1.7m has been raised to date towards the capital development (including land purchase); of that £400k is pledged income which will be granted once certain phases have been built and are signed off with architect certification.

With a total project value of £7.45m (including the first years running costs), moving forward the existing target for the Capital Fundraising Campaign is £4,500,000.

Visit The Willow Burn Hospice website here to find out more