Actor Warwick Davis opens 'UK's first hospice within hospital'

Warwick Davis
Image caption Actor Warwick Davis boasts film credits in two Star Wars movies, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia

Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis has opened what is thought to be the UK's first "hospice within a hospital".

The £1.4m unit at Grantham and District Hospital, Lincolnshire, has been built by St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice and the local NHS trust.

It will provide care for about 160 people each year.

Davis revealed his mother-in-law and stepfather also volunteered for the hospice.

The actor - who featured in Star Wars films The Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi - became involved with the hospice a year-and-a-half ago.

Davis admitted he "wasn't aware" his relatives helped out at the time.

Image caption The new "hospice within a hospital" will provide palliative, end-of-life and respite care for about 160 patients per year

"It's kind of coincidental," he said.

"I've spent a lot of time in hospitals over the years, not only myself but my family as well, and we understand how important good care is within the NHS.

"[The unit] is a wonderful benchmark and hopefully it will be followed by many other trusts around the country."

The hospice - which had been open for 14 months prior to the official launch - will deliver care through a nurse-led team, alongside GPs and other healthcare professionals.

'Huge difference'

Cathie Alcock, a sister for the unit, said prior to its opening, the nearest palliative care facility was 30 miles away in Lincoln.

"I think it makes a huge difference, particularly for our end-of-life patients," she said.

"We're able to access all the services you might need to provide the ultimate care for our patients.

"We have the benefit of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, the pharmacy on site... any department you would find in a normal hospital, we're able to access, so that helps."

Image caption Warwick Davis admitted he did not realise his mother-in-law and stepfather already volunteered for the hospice

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