Sue Ryder to close 'unviable Nettlebed house hospice'

Sue Ryder Hospice
Image caption People have been cared for at Joyce Grove for more than 35 years

The Sue Ryder charity is to close its south Oxfordshire palliative care hospice.

The charity had planned to relocate from Joyce Grove in Nettlebed but decided instead to focus on its "hospice at home" service.

It said there had been a "steady decline" of patients and a survey suggested more than 70% of respondents "would prefer to die at home".

The hospice will close at the end of March.

The charity said it had started a consultation with employees over the plans to close its inpatient unit "after a thorough assessment of a number of factors including patient data and costs".

It said during its search for an alternative base from the Grade-II Edwardian building "some clear trends became apparent".

'Decrease in demand'

The property was built by Robert Fleming, the grandfather of James Bond author Ian Fleming.

In a statement, the charity said the number of people referred to the inpatient unit had fallen which led to the charity cutting the amount of beds in April 2019.

The charity said since April 2019, an average of four people had been cared for at the hospice, which meant the service had "become financially unviable".

"After careful investigation with referral partners, the charity feels assured that the decline in patient numbers is due to a decrease in demand," a spokeswoman added.

The charity said should a need arise for inpatient beds that cannot be supported within the county, patients would be offered beds at the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading.

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