East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) south Norfolk home at Quidenham could be on the move if plans go ahead for the building of a brand new facility near Norwich.
The charity, which offers palliative care to children with life-threatening conditions and complex healthcare needs, is putting forward a planning application for a purpose-built hospice at Framingham Earl, south-east of Norwich.
On Monday, it held a public meeting at the neighbouring village of Poringland for local residents to view plans and ask questions.
EACH chief executive Graham Butland said: “Due to the high demands on our specialist services we’re looking at options for a new hospice to provide even better care and support.
“Our Quidenham hospice is one of the oldest children’s hospices in the UK and has been a wonderful home-from-home to many families for more than 20 years.
“It provides fantastic services for families, but as time goes on and specialist services develop, the building will become less and less fit for purpose.
“We need to plan now to be ready for the future.”
He said Quidenham would continue to be run to its current high standards until a new hospice was built.
The converted coaching lodge is in the grounds of a country house owned and occupied by a community of Carmelite nuns.
Mr Butland said accessibility and flexibility within the building was restricted and there wasn’t scope to expand.
Quidenham is also in the far south of the county meaning many families travelled large distances to access care, often when time is vital, while in its new location it would be more central and with easier access to the county’s hospitals.
A new hospice would also bring Norfolk into line with services already offered by the charity’s other hospices at Milton near Cambridge and in Ipswich, such as services accessible all on one level, a hydrotherapy pool, and dedicated play and music therapy facilities.
If planning permission is obtained, EACH will launch an appeal in Autumn 2014 with the build commencing following a successful period of fundraising.
The purchase of land, building costs and fees are likely to be around £10 million.