Plans to add a palliative care centre to St Catherine’s Hospice have moved a step closer after the proposals were rubber stamped.
South Ribble Council has approved plans to convert a redundant barn in the grounds of the hospice in Lostock Hall into the care centre and add a two storey extension.
The new centre is for people who are about to enter the hospice, and their families and carers, would be able to visit the building to collect information, to have informal consultations and to have therapy and counselling in a more relaxed environment than on the hospice ward surrounded by nursing staff.
And, those discharged from the hospice will be able to return to the new Care Centre to continue to access the facilities and anybody will be able to discuss their concerns over coffee in the welcoming and friendly information centre.
A planning application to South Ribble Council says that the roof of the barn will be raised by 500mm but will retain its existing shape and style.
The barn is part of a farm complex called Lostock Fold Farm which is in the ownership of the hospice.
Lostock Fold is currently used as a collection and distribution centre for charitable donations in conjunction with the hospice shops.
It is constructed in a random stone which will be retained.
All new window and door openings will be aluminium or timber and will include stone heads and sills to match the existing property.
Internally the new centre will include patient resource, counselling and office space.
There will also be a kitchen, toilets and reception areas at the ground floor as well as a cafe and information centre.
On the second storey there will be therapy, clinical consultation, counselling and medical advisory rooms and a viewing balcony.
It will be set away from the main hospice building and is only visible from within the grounds.
A report approving the plans states: “The proposal relates well to the character of the building and to neighbouring properties.
“Its relative insignificance within a self contained site will cause little detriment to the current street scene and its similarity to that which already exists will ensure no increased risks to public safety or amenity.”
Council papers state that there have been more than 20 planning applications to St Catherine’s Hospice and its ancillary buildings for various extensions and alterations.
The hospice provides specialised palliative and ‘end of life’ care for people living with conditions that can be treated but not cured.
They employ 170 staff and have more than 500 volunteers without whom they could not survive.
St Catherine’s Hospice declined to comment on the proposals.