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Hospital to become a hospice

Published on Tuesday, 3rd September 2019

Cllr Robson outside Lambert Hospital
Cllr Robson outside Lambert Hospital

A former Thirsk hospital is be converted into Hambleton’s first permanent hospice.

Hambleton District Council is to gift the Lambert Hospital to Herriot Hospice Homecare to create a facility offering a range of end of life and care services for the district – and protect it for the community for ever.

The council bought the hospital earlier this year to save it for the community it served, having been closed to patients over three years ago.

Councillors have considered a wide range of ideas on how to convert the buildings - which included undertaking widespread public consultation to gather local views.    More than 600 people put forward suggestions – most of which confirmed initial proposals from the authority - to use the building for palliative / respite care through a local hospice, with many specifying Herriot Hospice.

“Local people are passionate about keeping the Lambert for community use – and so are we,” said Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson.

“By gifting the building to the hospice we can bring the building back into use – and give the community what they have been asking for.   We are placing a covenant on the building protecting it as a community asset.

“This hospice will provide an invaluable service for the people of Thirsk and Sowerby – and the wider Hambleton district.”

Herriot Hospice have said the proposals include a four bed inpatient unit for the terminally ill, bereavement counselling rooms, bereavement education centre, café and a community hub facility with meeting space and IT facilities.   They have already identified £600,000 of the £1.3m needed to convert the building and expect to secure the remainder within six months.

Members of Cabinet agreed to the transfer of the hospital today (Tuesday) – along with a contribution of £90,000 to help with the provision of the community hub.   Their decision will be ratified by Full Council on September 17.