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Hibiscus Coast Hospice launches $7 million campaig

14 April 2005

Hibiscus Coast Hospice launches $7 million campaign for new six-bed respite centre in Red Beach

Population growth and a lack of palliative care beds in the North Harbour region has led Hibiscus Coast Hospice to launch a campaign to raise $7 million for a new centre to be built in John Dee Crescent, Red Beach.

Development Trust chairman, Merv Crocker, says that this year the 1000th patient will be admitted to Hibiscus Coast Hospice and each year more than 100 families look to Hospice for support.

“Last year we saw a 12 percent rise in referrals and we can expect this rate of increase to continue. Our current facility is stretched beyond capacity and the time has come to build a hospice centre that will serve the community well into the future,” he says.

Mr Crocker and his colleagues on the Hibiscus Coast Hospice Development Trust have set themselves the challenge of raising $7 million over the next four years. The fundraising campaign will be launched on Friday 14th April at 5pm at the Peninsula Golf Club, in Orewa.

Lack of palliative care facilities, says Mr Crocker, is a key reason for the new centre.

“The Waitemata District Health Board serves a population of around 450,000 but there are only 14 palliative care beds in the region. Hibiscus Coast patients who need respite care have to travel to Takapuna, which places added stress on already overburdened families.

The new Hibiscus Coast Hospice Centre was to be developed as a two-stage project. However, demand has meant that construction will start as soon as sufficient funding becomes available.

Mr Crocker says that caring for a person with a terminal illness can be very, very stressful and hospice places great emphasis on caring for the carers, as much as it does on the person who is dying.

“Our service is based on the premise that someone with a terminal illness has the right to die in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by family and friends.

“The hospice service is designed to fulfill that desire. Along the way we may need to provide expert symptom control, and support patients who are facing huge medical risks. We also offer time out to emotionally and physically drained caregivers.

“This is why it is so important the proposed centre includes a six-bed respite unit,” Mr Crocker says.

Hibiscus Coast Hospice provides its service free of charge; a service that currently costs almost $1,900 a day. On-going operating costs are covered in a variety of ways including income derived from the organisation’s three shops, but the new campaign is solely to build the new centre.

Mr Crocker believes that one of the great lessons hospice offers is that you never know when you are going to need its services.

“Most people connect hospice with cancer yet here on the Hibiscus Coast 18 percent of admissions are non-cancer related. Our youngest patient was six days old and our oldest 102 years of age. A quarter of people using our services are under 60.

“There is little doubt that each and every one us will, at some time, come into contact with hospice. This could be either directly through illness or indirectly as a result of a family member or close friend having to use our services,” adds Mr Crocker.

ENDS

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