A major expansion is being planned at Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice.
The charity is in discussions to acquire Clifford House - a large Victorian property worth £3.6 million next to the hospice’s inpatient centre at Little Common Lane, Whirlow - to form a new ‘hub’ to accommodate an increase in its activities.
St Luke’s wants to extend its range of community services and help more patients with terminal illnesses receive care at home.
The move follows the completion of the hospice’s £5 million new inpatient wing.
Chief executive Peter Hartland said the existing facilities were ‘full to capacity’, and that the chance to move into Clifford House was a ‘wonderful opportunity’.
Converting the property is expected to take around a year.
The move will be viewed as a further commitment to the Whirlow site, after plans to move to Graves Park, and then to Norfolk Park, were abandoned in 2008 and 2010.
Bosses then decided to build the inpatient wing after a Care Quality Commission report raised concerns about the standard of facilities. The watchdog has since praised the revamped centre.
Clifford House is currently used as a private residence by Hugh and Frances Facey, of Sheffield firms Gripple and Loadhog.
The Faceys have allowed St Luke’s to pay for the property in instalments over a five-year period. After pledges, it is likely the cost to the charity will be around £1.8 million - about half of the house’s current market value.
Mr Hartland said: “These new developments are truly exciting. We know that we can do so much more to help people in Sheffield, but we just can’t do this from Little Common Lane, which is now full to capacity providing residential and day care.
“So the chance to acquire Clifford House is a wonderful opportunity, allowing us to create a new St Luke’s Centre for Palliative Care. It’s a place where we can work with patients and families, reach out to our communities, and develop partnerships with those in the healthcare, education, charity and voluntary sectors who share our passion for better care – all set in lovely gardens with direct access to Ecclesall Road.”
He added: “Mr Facey and his family have offered St Luke’s the opportunity to acquire the property over a five-year period, allowing us to pay for it in instalments, and the Facey Family Foundation has also offered to make donations over those five years to help pay for utilities and other costs.
“We’re also extremely fortunate to have received two significant legacies last year, allowing us to safely pay for the acquisition.
“We’ll use the benefits of efficiency savings we have achieved in recent years to help pay for the operation of the premises, as we develop the new community opportunities in coming years.”
St Luke’s currently helps around 1,500 patients with terminal illnesses every year.
It is developing a team of local volunteers, as well as tailored food and laundry services, alongside the existing team of community nurses. Clifford House will be the base for the community activities, as well as providing a centre for ‘collaborative work’ on healthcare in Sheffield.
A new system is also being introduced which will allow a single senior nurse or doctor to monitor multiple patients in their own homes from a remote setting, providing direction to nurses in the community.
The charity is also undergoing a complete rebrand to create a ‘vibrant and easily recognised identity’.