Two new beds have officially been added to the Northchurch-based Hospice of St Francis – and immediately filled by two patients in need of care and treatment.
Staff inspected the welcome additions on Thursday before they were put in place.
When the hospice moved to its Shootersway site in 2007, the plan was always to open 14 beds when enough funding was in place.
That’s now been made possible by generous legacies from supporters.
The two new beds mean the hospice can care for an extra 60 patients a year from across its catchment area.
At the moment 300 people are helped by the in-patient unit, and 600 moe receive treatment at home, in care homes and hospital.
Hospice director Dr Ros Taylor said: “When I first visited the green field site that the hospice now stands on, a double rainbow appeared.
“It is very fitting that the sun has come out today as we open our final two beds!
“We’ve come a long way in the 10 years since we were granted planning permission and I am so thankful to the thousands of supporters who have allowed the original vision for a 14 bed hospice to come to fruition.”
“The legacy money will go towards staffing the beds with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and support staff .
“But to ensure we retain the quality of our care and the capacity to treat 360 patients a year in our beds, we will need to continue to raise 80 per cent of the £4.6 million we need each year to ensure we are self-sufficient when the legacy money runs out. “
Senior sister Jenny Burrell added, “Our 55 strong nursing team has been looking forward to this moment for the last six years.
“We pride ourselves on offering total care when time is precious and are delighted the new beds will enable us to look after many more people in the future.”