St Catherine’s Hospice is a local charity, with a big ambition: to help everyone face death informed, supported and pain free.
We're one of the leading providers of end of life care and support in Sussex and Surrey and provide expert hospice care to people when and where they need it most.
Each year, our skilled teams care for over 2,000 people living with terminal illness, across the communities of Sussex and Surrey, and are on hand to support people in their homes, at our Day Hospice and on our wards. But we know there's still more we can do - it's our mission to help even more people affected by death and dying locally.
We also pioneer standards in end of life care through collaboration, research and training, so we can be there for even more people facing death and bereavement.
Many people think that a hospice is a place where you spend your final moments, and it means the end of life is near. While for some people this is true, for the majority of people, it’s really just the start.
At St Catherine’s, we focus on helping people make the most of the time they have left - whether that's years, months or weeks. We focus on encouraging people to live well and recognise they are more than just their illness.
Our main hospice, currently based in central Crawley, has an 18 bed Inpatient Unit for people with more complex medical needs or who are looking for respite care. However, the majority of our care is provided where they live and feel most comfortable. As well as practical care we also offer emotional support, welfare advice, occupational and physiotherapy, complementary therapies, spiritual care and creative activities. Our care focuses on each individual as a whole and we recognise that emotional support is just as important as the physical care we provide.
St Catherine's can only help people when they need us thanks to the local people and businesses who fund our care. We receive less than a third of our running costs from the NHS, and for the rest we rely on the generosity and support of our local community. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to care for people when life comes full circle and we are very thankful.
St Catherine's isn’t just a building; it’s a way of caring, and we work in lots of different ways to help local people. To find out more about us please visit: www.stch.org.uk
Few things in life are certain except that we are all born and, we will all die. At St Catherine’s, we are committed to providing the best care for those who need us most. Sadly, the number of people who need our support is growing, with over 5,000 people dying in our catchment area each year - at the moment we cannot help everyone who would benefit from our very special hospice care.
The medical needs of the people we help are increasingly complex. Many of our patients will have cancer, but others will have long term conditions such as heart failure, lung disease or neurological conditions, like Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. The aging population also means that locally more people than ever need our support, and may have more than one condition they need help managing. While 80 per cent of our care is in patients’ homes the need to manage complex symptoms in our Inpatient Unit and in our day services will always be needed. With growing numbers of people needing our support, we need to make sure we have a facility that can continue to serve our community for many years to come. Local people deserve nothing less.
Our current site in Crawley has no room for further expansion of either our Inpatient or Day Services facilities so we need to consider an alternative.
Our trustees have been considering accommodation options for the last couple of years. In 2014, a generous gift marked the start of a journey to providing increased care for our community.
With a close understanding of the challenges we faced, a St Catherine’s supporter whose mother and close friend were cared for by the hospice, kindly donated five acres of land in Pease Pottage.
Having seen first-hand the difference hospice care can make to both patients and their family and friends, the desire for this new site is for it to allow us to provide even more hospice services for the people of Sussex and Surrey. This kind donation has started a journey that helps us ensure this support will be available for more people for years to come.
The site at Pease Pottage is part of a larger development project being managed by Thakeham.
Thakeham have an outstanding reputation for building projects that enhance local communities and, as a gesture of goodwill, have committed to funding the service road into the hospice, paying the initial design and architectural fees as well as considering the best way to integrate St Catherine’s into the new community.
We hope this will help us achieve our ambition of encouraging people to think differently about hospices and help us to capture the hearts and minds of even more local people.
Following careful consideration and consultation, designs for the new hospice have been submitted to Mid Sussex District Council. As part of this detailed process we carefully considered how the building, and the services we offer, best meet patient needs and promote a sense of wellbeing. The setting will provide a pleasant environment for individuals and we want the building to do the same.
We envisage the new hospice to have more of a spa feel instead of a clinical environment; promoting a sense of comfort, wellbeing and encouraging people to live well. We considered every possibility during this planning stage of how patient and family care can be improved, with an emphasis being placed on comfortable spaces for families so they can stay close to their relative should they wish, but also have space for themselves.
We will also have improved physiotherapy, occupational therapy and complementary therapy facilities and once we have reached more definitive decisions on what these facilities will look like, we will share this information with you.
During September 2016 we held a public consultation with Thakeham. Following outline planning approval by Mid Sussex District Council in November 2016, the designs have been further developed and Thakeham Homes and Bill Bridges have now submitted the required 'Reserved Matters Application for Phase 1' and this has been 'validated' by Mid Sussex District Council.
The validation of the reserved matters application means that the details of our five acre hospice site, including a 24 bed hospice, have been submitted to the council and published online. This sits alongside Thakeham’s development plans for the first tranche of homes and the community cafe and shop.
This continues the standard planning application process. The plans and documents that form the application can be viewed online at: www.midsussex.gov.uk/planningregister using the following reference DM/17/2534.
This is a very exciting opportunity for St Catherine’s and we are extremely grateful for the support of Bill Bridges, Thakeham and another kind supporter, John Shemeld, whose generous donations have enabled us to begin the journey of expanding our services so that we can help more people.
St Catherine’s will be launching a fundraising appeal to meet the costs of building and furnishing the new hospice. Details of the appeal will be published soon.