Yarmouth and Waveney charity to be sole hospice campaigner

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Fundraising for a new £7m hospice in Norfolk will be concentrated in one organisation after a hospital abandoned its own independent scheme.

The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston was planning to campaign for a new hospice for Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

East Coast Hospice trustees had already bought land at nearby Hopton and said a rival hospital scheme would make raising money more difficult.

Hospital directors agreed and have dropped plans for a separate hospice.

East Coast Hospice plans to build a 10-bed hospice, including day care, respite care and teaching facilities at a total cost of £7m.

Hospital chairman David Wright said the hospital already had an established palliative care unit for NHS patients but valued a hospice as it gave a separate but important aspect to care.

Government money bid

"It would be wrong to be seen to be competing with another local charity, with similar aims," he said.

"Therefore, a fundraising campaign for a hospice at the Gorleston hospital will not be launched at the current time.

"The trust will focus on improving existing palliative care services at the Louise Hamilton Centre and supporting its charitable efforts."

Jennifer Beasley, East Coast Hospice chair, said: "We have to thank David Wright and the board at the James Paget Hospital.

"It's good news for the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney as we now have clarity on fundraising.

"This is one of the few areas of England that does not have a hospice but it is going to be a tough job raising the money."

She said £4m still needed to be raised.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said government money was available and he would be talking to health minister and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb to get some of it released to the project.

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