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East Coast Hospice's anger at rival Louise Hamilton Centre hospice bid

PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:30 19 June 2015

Jenny Beesley, Chairman of the East Coast Hospice.  Picture: James Bass

Jenny Beesley, Chairman of the East Coast Hospice. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2013

Campaigners bidding to build a hospice on the outskirts of Gorleston have said the public will be "confused" by "conflicting" appeals.

ECH - archaeology photo 2ECH - archaeology photo 2

The Louise Hamilton Centre (LHC) announced recently that it is launching a new campaign to build a 10-bed end of life hospice within the grounds of the James Paget Hospital.

Those behind the £3million LHC bid, including ambassador Roberta Lovick - whose daughter Louise died of cancer aged 28 - said the time was right to launch phase two of their vision and complete what the centre was always meant to be.

But the plans have sparked anger and dismay from East Coast Hospice (ECH) campaigners, who are raising £4million to build Margaret Chadd House - a 10-bed hospice, independent of the NHS, on the Gorleston/Hopton border.

Jennifer Beesley, ECH chairman, said: “It seems unfair to a community that has fully come behind ECH’s appeal to build a completely independent hospice separate from any NHS interference, that there may now be a situation where two appeals will mean a splitting of public money and the possibility that no such hospice service will be forthcoming at all.

“Would the public like one hospice built for use, or no hospice at all?”

“I am also horrified that in launching this appeal now for a hospice on the grounds of the JPH that Mrs Lovick could use ECH’s own strapline ‘raise the roof’ in her appeal, showing that not only is the Louise Hamilton Centre aiming to duplicate services that are already planned for Margaret Chadd House, but also using the same wording – somewhat of a ‘dirty trick’ one feels.”

She also felt the palliative care centre could be at risk in the future because of its connections to the JPH and the ongoing reshaping of the NHS.

“I feel so disappointed that we’re in this situation once again of appearing to be in competition with another local organisation when it is so unnecessary to be fighting to provide similar services,” she added.

“To be able to make an informed decision, it is necessary to know all the facts and I hope the public will appreciate our clarification.”

What do you think? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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