In pictures: New extension officially opened at Strathcarron Hospice

A new extension to Strathcarron Hospice was officially opened on Friday.

The Carron View Wing, which will make a significant difference to staff, patients and their families, was opened by Michael Matheson, MSP for Falkirk West.

The Fankerton hospice has been caring for patients and their families from across the area’s communities for over four decades, and although Strathcarron has made improvements over the years, these new facilities and space will enable the team to continue to deliver better service and care for patients.

The hospice is grateful for the two generous Gift in Wills which enabled them to build the new space.

The extension includes the staff changing area, new consultants’ offices, a large meeting room and a new laundry, allowing patients and staff across departmnets to benefit from more comfortable spaces as well as up to date facilities.

By relocating the laundry room, the patient kitchen can be expanded as well as freeing up space for more advantageous use, for example, creating more rooms to accommodate family guests overnight.

Irene McKie, Strathcarron’s CEO, said: “As a hospice, we need to fund this kind of work ourselves. The NHS arrangement with hospices in Scotland is that they only partially fund services, not capital. This new building falls into the ‘capital’ category, as does much of our redecoration and upgrading of the hospice building. We also have to fully fund our Information Technoloty (IT) equipment and software licences and we now need to spend over £50,000 annually on licence fees alone. This is self-funded, funded by our incredibly generous supporters. With the NHS funding only a third of our service costs, we need to raise £14,632 every single day to keep our vital services running.”

Many of the staff require IT to enable them to do their day to day work and one of the key IT licences is for the computerised Patient Records System. The highly secure and confidential system increases efficiency, in cost and time with patient records updated at pace and with ease, ensuring seamless team to team communication to directly benefit patient care.

Ms McKie added: “We must also ensure that the hospice is warm, windproof and watertight – another financial pressure on top of running costs. We need to continually replace, upgrade and fix as we go. The result is that our patients tell us that we do not look and feel like a hospital. As soon as they walk through Strathcarron Hospice doors they can relax, they feel comfortable and safe.

"We understand that if a family has entrusted their loved one into our care, they need to feel a real sense of confidence that we will look after them well: to know that our care standards are high, in every sense of the word.”

To date, the hospice outgoing costs are manageable, but despite positive improvements in fundraising and retail, a deficit is expected at the end of the year.

Some local solicitors are donating their fee to Strathcarron Hospice to draft up customer Wills in October. For more information on Gifts in Wills and other current and future fundraising events visit Alternatively call the fundraising team on 01324 826222 or email [email protected]