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Hospice Waikato purchases Hillcrest Lodge property

MEDIA RELEASE

19 June 2006


Hospice Waikato purchases Hillcrest Lodge property


Hospice Waikato has reached an unconditional agreement to purchase the Hillcrest Lodge, which will become its permanent home.

The deal marks a significant step forward for Hospice Waikato in its plans to establish a specialised facility in the city.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Healeys have given us the opportunity to buy the Hillcrest Lodge,” says Hospice Waikato chairman Richard Small. “The site is totally consistent with our vision of Hospice Waikato for the next 50 years. It has a wonderful ambience, a sense of spaciousness, and it’s surrounded by mature trees. It is exactly right.”

Hillcrest Lodge has been owned for the past three years by Awesome Lodge Ltd and Hansi Ken & Associates, an Austrian company. A confidentiality agreement prevents the parties from disclosing the purchase price.

The 8000sq m property has five separate buildings including three conference facilities, two homes, 28 self-contained rooms and a unit.

“We are very happy to be selling the property to Hospice Waikato,” says Hillcrest Lodge partner Helen Healey. “Both my business partner and I have had family members cared for by Hospice and we can see the potential to create a very special place here for hospice patients and staff.”

Settlement is December 15. Helen Healey said Hillcrest Lodge would end 32 years of operation on November 30.

Last December Hospice Waikato announced it would launch a $6.25 million capital fundraising campaign this year to establish specialised hospice facilities that would improve services to palliative care patients and their families. The fundraising campaign is expected to be launched in coming months.

“This purchase means we will be able to bring forward some of our plans, but it won’t affect the amount of capital we will require,” Richard Small said. “Our first priority will be some redevelopment of the site so we can move in by mid-2007. Our immediate needs will be for a day care centre, training spaces, nursing staff facilities, Rainbow Place centre for children, and administration offices.

“However, we now expect to be able to establish an onsite hospice, with up to 10 beds, within four years. That is dependent on our capital fundraising and further discussions with the Waikato District Health Board.”


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About Hospice Waikato

- Hospice Waikato services include home-based palliative nursing care, collaborative nursing in outlying regions, Rainbow Place specialist children’s service, grief and bereavement counselling, family support volunteers, and a biography service.

- Each regional hospice organisation is independent.

- Hospice Waikato receives approx $1.5 million each year from Waikato District Health Board and needs to raise another $1.5 million to meet its operational costs.

- All Hospice Waikato services are provided at no cost to patients, families or caregivers.

- Hospice Waikato has conducted significant research to assess how Waikato people believe the organisation is performing, whether the services it provides are those most valuable to the community, and where future demand is likely to come from. The results show overwhelming support for hospice.

- Hospice Waikato’s research shows 94% of palliative care patients want to die at home. Hospice Waikato provides that specialised home-based care, and also currently sub-contracts four beds in a Hamilton nursing home for those who require it.

- About 420 people are referred to Hospice Waikato care each year. Most of those (93%) have cancer but people with other life-limiting illnesses are also cared for.

- Hospice Waikato has five shops, run by volunteers, that sell quality second hand goods including furniture, clothing, books, homewares, and more.

- Hospice Waikato will begin celebrating its 25th year in October 2006.


ENDS

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