Hospice plans for Haverhill centre site

Suffolk County Council has agreed to work with St Nicholas Hospice Care to develop a proposal to take on a lease and the management of the Burton Centre, in Haverhill.

The hospice has been offered the centre on the provision it secures nearly £500,000 of Department of Health funding to enable it to take its plans forward.

If its planning and funding applications are approved, the hospice plans to turn the underused Camps Road centre into a ‘community hub’ to deliver services to the people of Haverhill and surrounding areas.

The library will continue to occupy and operate from its half of the building under the management of Suffolk Libraries Industrial and Provident Society.

Barbara Gale, St Nicholas Hospice Care Executive, said: “We want to support more patients and families with life-shortening illness in their own home or the community. As such, we think the Burton Centre could help us to bring some hospice services closer to the people of Haverhill and surrounding areas.

“We are very keen to work with the existing community groups that use the centre and plan to have discussions with them all in the coming months.

“We’re delighted that, as a result of this decision, the hospice should be able to provide more care and support where people need it.”

Plans for the hospice community hub include a shop unit and café as well as services for patients, families and carers including complementary therapies, bereavement counselling, legal surgeries and support groups.

The hospice will submit planning applications for internal remodelling and an external lift next month, but will not find out about Department of Health funding until March 2013