Hospice in the Weald is an outstanding facility providing specialist palliative care to the communities of West Kent and East Sussex. A charitable organisation, the Hospice provides support services for people with progressive life limiting illnesses, their carers and families. It was a privilege for the Baxall team to work for this remarkable local cause and contribute to its expansion and improvement plans for the benefit of the community.
The works specification involved the addition of two extensions, both adjacent to the busy main reception, café, shop and medical rooms. The first was an expansion of the Day Care Centre, an existing communal room used for rehabilitation, activities and socialisation. The large, Glulam framed extension created a new singular room which doubled the overall size of the original area and comfortably housed a far greater number of patients.
A phased approach enabled the existing Day Care Centre to fully operate while the extension was constructed behind safety hoardings. Upon completion, the patients and Baxall team changed places and a full refurbishment was carried out to match the new room. The final addition of a removable partition created a two-room option, doubling up as a relaxing coffee lounge and quiet area, overlooking and accessible to the landscaped gardens and patio.
The second extension comprised a two storey build to create additional medical rooms at ground floor level with an education suite above. This enabled the hospice to host training, meeting and conference activities, creating another income stream to support the charity. Both extensions were built sympathetic to the original design, mirroring brickwork, roofing and windows.
The very nature of the hospice environment demanded the highest level of sensitivity, respect and consideration. As an important community facility running 24 hours a day, it was essential to keep the hospice fully operational throughout the contract. From the pre-works stage, the Baxall team became familiar with the hospice staff and developed a clear understanding and appreciation of how the facility operated. This early involvement was critical in developing works schedules that would minimise disruption to patients, staff and visitors and maximise their safety. Thereafter, daily liaison and weekly meetings with both senior staff and nurses afforded the opportunity to review the programme and reschedule noisy and disruptive works as necessary.
The potential for budget overspend was a particular issue for the hospice. To alleviate this concern, Baxall committed to complete the contract within the agreed budget figure and create savings where possible. With the buy-in from longstanding sub-contractor and supplier partners, all savings were donated back to the hospice as a gesture of goodwill. Furthering this support, the Baxall team embark upon on-going fundraising initiatives which have included a challenging trek across the Cairngorm Mountains.