A new hospice for Southend, which will eventually be caring for thousands of local people, has started to take shape as a major installation on site takes place.
The installation has begun on the steel frame structure for the new Fair Havens Hospice in Priory Crescent, Prittlewell. This begins a three-week process where the framework of the hospice will take shape before a large five-tonne stairwell is then installed.
Building work on the site started in October 2018 and is expected to be completed in February 2020. The new Fair Havens will be able to care for twice as many patients across Southend, Castle Point and Rochford who are facing an illness which cannot be cured. At their current hospice in Chalkwell Avenue, they turn away 11 patients every month because they don’t have enough beds and their facilities are no longer fit for purpose.
Steve Smith, New Fair Havens Project Director, said:
“This is another milestone in the journey towards a new purpose-built hospice for Southend and we’re hugely excited about it. Over the last few months, we’ve seen the foundations put in place and 300m3 of concrete being poured onto the site. Now that the steel frame is going up, this is when we really start to see the structure of the new hospice within its landscape take shape.”
The new hospice will incorporate 16 in-patient bedrooms, increased Day Hospice services, additional family support and beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds.
One of the people present to see this next phase begin was Louise McKay, Ward Sister at Fair Havens’ In-Patient Unit. She said:
“We have been hoping and praying for a new Fair Havens Hospice for many years and to now see it being built and standing at the site where we will one day treat patients from is wonderful. Our current hospice is small, cramped and not fit for the purpose of providing modern hospice care. Being able to care for patients in an environment they deserve is something we are all looking forward to.”
The charity, which includes Fair Havens Hospice for adults, Little Havens Hospice for children and The J’s Hospice for young adults, are currently just £900,000 away from their £17.2million target to fund the new Fair Havens.
The building has been designed by architects LSI and building work is taking place by Barnes Construction.