Judith Lacy shares her experience at our current Heald Green hospice

By Teagan Earith on August 23, 2022

The new hospice at St Ann’s will have private bedrooms where patients can spend their final days surrounded by family and friends.

Most inpatients now have to share four-bed wards due to inadequate facilities at the Heald Green site.

The new hospice, which requires a further £2m in public funding, will accommodate 21 en-suite individual bedrooms, giving patients and families total privacy unlike now.

Judith Lacy, from Hale, knows precisely what that means to loved ones and their relatives.

Fortunately, she was able to stay with husband Kevin during his final few days as a patient at St Ann’s. Kevin, an IT project manager, died of cancer in 2007, aged 49.

Judith said: “Kevin only lived for six weeks after diagnosis and we were lucky that when he arrived at St Ann’s they could offer us a private room.

“But it shouldn’t be a matter of luck. A room should be available to everyone in that situation so you can be there with loved ones.

“It’s wonderful that the new hospice will far more individual rooms. As I know from experience, not only is it good for the patient, but also their partner.

“In our case we’d hardly spent a night apart before Kevin took ill. During his stay at The Christie we couldn’t be together, but once he came to St Ann’s that anxiety was removed, knowing I was with him.

“It’s not just about a person’s dignity. It’s a lot more than that and the reassurance for the rest of the
family.

“It was wonderful to be in the bed next to him. When we were awake in the small hours of the night we were able to talk and laugh about good times. The anxiety of being separated was gone.”

Judith is an ambassador for St Ann’s and emphasises the need for a new hospice. Building work is due to start before the end of the year.

A Build It Together appeal is asking the public to fund the remaining £2m needed for the new hospice on land adjacent to the existing site.

Judith said: “My message is let’s get that last £2m sorted so people can have that quiet time with the support of the hospice that we know is wonderful.

“We know the hospice care is marvellous, but we need the infrastructure to support the wonderful work they do.”

*To support Build It Together visit www.newhospice.sah.org.uk