East Coast Hospice plans to be discussed

Plans for a new �4m hospice to provide better end-of-life care for people in Waveney and Great Yarmouth will be discussed at a council meeting tomorrow.

The proposed 10-bedroom East Coast Hospice (ECH) will stand in five acres of landscaped grounds at Gorleston, next to Beacon Park, and will offer a tranquil retreat for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Detailed plans will be heard before Great Yarmouth's development control committee at a meeting tomorrow evening.

David Nettleship, chairman of the ECH trustees, said: 'We are one of only two areas in the country without a hospice. We wanted to find somewhere with good access. The ethos of a hospice is very different to a hospital. It feels more like a country house hotel than a hospital.

'We wanted everything to be smooth and easy to use. It will be a comprehensive, end of life care package and a place for people to stay when their carers need a break.'

The building, which has two storeys, will have a large, free car park at the front.

The accommodation and nursing support area is planned around a cloister courtyard and individual bedrooms, which have a separate bed so friends and relatives can spend the night. They will have ensuite facilities and a small private garden.

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There will be a sanctuary which is a dedicated place for people to go when they need time alone.

On the first floor will be offices for the administration, accounting and fundraising departments as well as for nursing staff. There will also be a meeting room for staff training, management meetings and hiring out.

Mr Nettleship said all rooms would all have Wifi so people can stay in touch with their loved ones.

There are also plans for an outpatient palliative care department with a day centre for up to 15 people.

Mr Nettleship added: 'It's very much like home - the rooms are very domestic. The average stay in a hospice is only between 12 and 14 days. The big thing is funding it. Planning permission would be a significant step to help us get funding.'