Changes to plans for Sam Beare

Our Hospices have today announced that from December 2016 it is to begin the process of moving all in-patient and day care services currently being provided at the Sam Beare Hospice site, situated within Weybridge Hospital, to the new hospice building currently under construction in Woking, which is to open in the Spring of 2017. In the interim, patients will be cared for in their homes and in the current Woking Hospice. This is between December and the time when they will be able to be admitted to the new Hospice.

Once the transition is complete, the wing of the hospital currently being utilised by Sam Beare to provide its services will no longer be occupied by the charity. The Community Team currently operating from the unit will remain in the area and will conduct business as usual; providing the majority of the charity’s hospice care services to local residents in their own homes.

Previously, plans were laid to redevelop Sam Beare to create a separate Wellbeing Centre. However, as a result of additional and unforeseen financial pressures the Trustees and Executive Staff had to revisit their proposal.  Since 2006 and up to this point in time, the facility at Sam Beare has been provided rent-free to the charity.  NHS Property Services, who have been charged by the NHS with management of the facility, have indicated that from the spring of 2017 there will be a rental and service charge on the property that could be up to £300,000 per annum. This has made plans for developing services within the building no longer financially viable.

We will, however, be finding an alternative space for the Weybridge-based Community Team; from which the Clinical Nurse Specialists, Doctors, Counsellors, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists can operate. This satellite base will enable each specialist currently operating in the Spelthorne, Runnymede and West Elmbridge area to visit more patients in their homes every day than would otherwise be possible if based at the Woking location.

Construction of the new hospice is well underway and on schedule; and in spring 2017 we will operate from one central base housing a state-of-the-art 20-bed in-patient unit, an administrative base for the Woking Community Team and a Wellbeing Centre. The Hospice will also house counselling and bereavement services and the award-winning CoSI team which coordinates 24/7 care for people in their homes in the last days of their lives. There will be room and resource enough to accommodate a robust service for future generations of patients who will, as they currently do, travel from across the whole of North West Surrey to benefit from what will be one of the best modern palliative care facilities in the Surrey area.

Chairman Marc Riggs explains: “This is an exciting and challenging time for the Hospices. Although our plans have had to change, we are more committed than ever to extending our specialist palliative and end of life care to as many people as we can across all our communities from our new Hospice and through our growing Community team […]Regarding the Sam Beare site in Weybridge, Trustees of the charity have had to exercise their duty of prudence against a backdrop of reducing annually adjusted core funding from the NHS and against the staggering imposition of around £300,000 of additional costs on our charity by NHS Property Services”.

CEO Nigel Harding speaks about the decision: “The simple truth is the care that we deliver to the most vulnerable members of our community can only be sustained if we operate within our means.  Our services have grown both in quantity and complexity and as a charity we have unanimously agreed that, as the NHS has not increased our core funding since 2008, our financial resources will be far better utilised meeting the needs of our patients than covering the high costs of newly implemented rental and service charges.  Sadly we must now move out of the Sam Beare building but the first rate services we provide to all those in North West Surrey will continue to grow and develop well in to the future.