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Palliative care suite plans for Turriff Hospital are approved

By Kyle Ritchie

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The following article is to correct a misleading headline of last week, which gave the impression that the garden was the main work at Turriff Hospital, when in fact, the building of an extension to create a palliative care suite is the main development, with the garden being tidied up after the build.

With planning permission now approved for this major project, the group, Friends of Turriff Community Hospital (FOTCH) is now looking to progress its most costly commitment to date.

This will create a significant extension to the medical facility to help families through a very difficult time.

Plans to create a palliative care suite at Turriff Cottage Hospital have been approved.
Plans to create a palliative care suite at Turriff Cottage Hospital have been approved.

The palliative care suite will provide an area next to a loved one to allow family to be together. This additional facility will have a lounge area with sofa bed; TV; and items including tea and coffee making facilities and microwave to create a homely atmosphere.

A spokesperson for FOTCH said: "This will be the most ambitious of all the FOTCH projects to date.

"The first conversations about the palliative care suite started more than seven years ago, with the first idea being put to NHS Grampian to sanction the build.

"In February 2015 the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund agreed to the proposed ideas and to assist with financial support.

"FOTCH commenced additional fundraisers and a savings account was set aside for the build.

"The plans were drawn up, a builder was appointed and a price was obtained.

"Several meetings were then held and an agreement of the split of the costs was made. FOTCH were to contribute 85 per cent of the build with the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund meeting the remaining 15 per cent.

"Effectively the complete build and kitting out of the suite will be 100 per cent funded by donations. Given the current financial climate and the time lapse from the initial costing, it is a concern that FOTCH may have a large shortfall to fill to complete this project and will be relying on some additional large fundraising events in the near future.

"With Covid hitting and delivering additional stress and strain on the NHS for two years, the build was put on hold. During this time opportunities for fundraising were also not available.

"In March this year the go ahead was confirmed, with the build to start around September this year.

"It is a massive achievement for such a small town and this has only been possible by the continued generosity of the local community and businesses.

"Special mention must go to those who lost loved ones and thought of FOTCH when having collections at funerals.

"FOTCH is grateful to everyone for their donations and the support in attending the fundraisers."

In the group's 31 years since it was created it has funded a huge number of major items for the hospital.

This has included:-

  • Endoscope: £52,800
  • Refurbishment and redecoration of the hospital: £40,000
  • X-Ray department: £30,000
  • Ultrasound scanner: £21,000
  • Heart monitors for hospital and health centre: £19,500
  • Reconstruction of accident and emergency department: £18,000
  • Refurbishment of the Day Room: £10,000
  • Embroidered cubicle curtains: £8800
  • Air mattresses: £8500
  • Front door replacement for the hospital with electrics: £7000
  • Eight electric couches: £4500
  • Lifting hoist: £4500
  • Physiotherapy department equipment: £4000
  • Speech therapy equipment: £2800

The spokesperson added: "In addition to those large spends, FOTCH provides continual financial support to the hospital and patients, with small items of medical equipment; patient welfare items; internet; presents at Christmas, the list is endless.

"Overall approximately £15,000 is required annually to provide for these items with bigger spends increasing the average annual total to approximately £35,000.

"Future financial constraints within the NHS will inevitably create more requests to FOTCH from the hospital and therefore the public's continued support is essential."

More on the group can be found at the www.facebook.com/friendsofturriffhospital Facebook page.

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