King Charles III officially opens NCH&C’s new PBL Hospice
A Royal visit to NCH&C's Priscilla Bacon Hospice
On Thursday 26 October, King Charles III attended NCH&C’s Priscilla Bacon Lodge Hospice (PBL) to officially open the new facility.
The Royal visit was arranged by the Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity, who raised £12 million to fund the new hospice.
Upon arriving at the new PBL, the King was greeted by Agnes, a therapy dog who volunteers at the hospice to boost the morale of the patients. He then attended NCH&C’s Breathlessness Clinic in the day unit, where he met outpatients and trust colleagues, followed by a visit to the inpatient unit. The King was shown around by Tracey Dryhurst (Service Lead for Psychological Services), Charlotte Shawe (Specialist Palliative Care Pathway Lead) and Lauren Isaacs (Head of Palliative Care Services).
The King also toured the gardens, where he was shown the outdoors gym equipment by Senior Physiotherapist, Wendy Smith. Our Lead Chaplain, the Reverend Helen Garrard, showed the King the new chapel.
One of the highlights for many NCH&C colleagues was seeing the King meet Rebecca, a 31-year-old inpatient with stage three melanoma. Rebecca’s four-year-old daughter, Arielle, presented King Charles with a paper crown that she had crafted with PBL volunteers that afternoon. After a cup of tea, presented by a PBL volunteer, the King unveiled a commemorative plaque, declaring the new hospice officially open.
During his visit, the King greeted NCH&C CEO Stephen Collman, trust Chair Lynda Thomas, and our Director of Strategy & Transformation, Laura Clear. Other figures from the Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care System also attended the event, including Chair Patricia Hewitt, and Chief Executive Tracey Bleakley.
PBL is a specialist unit for adults with complex palliative care needs which cannot be met in their own homes. The centre comprises a short-stay inpatient ward and a state-of-the-art day unit, featuring a gym and counselling and therapy spaces. NCH&C staff at PBL provide holistic care that incorporates the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of our patients. The new unit, based on the outskirts of the NNUH campus, replaces the former PBL located on Unthank Road in the city centre. The palliative care provided at PBL is complemented by our community palliative teams, who provide end-of-life and palliative care in patients’ homes.