21 Mar 2016

Nelson Hospice searches for a new home

7:01 pm on 21 March 2016

The Nelson Tasman Hospice is facing a critical time, as it seeks a new site for a planned multi million-dollar building, management says.

elderly woman's hands

Photo: 123RF

The move has been prompted by development of Nelson's private Manuka Street Hospital, which is on a site currently shared by the hospice.

Hospice Trust Board Chair John Peters said it was a critical time in the hospice's future.

"We know we need to get this right to meet the needs of future generations."

The 10-bed hospice provides a 24-hour, seven days care service in the Nelson Tasman region. It is run by 30 full-time staff, including doctors, nurses, health care assistants, a social worker, counsellor, bereavement support co-ordinator, chaplain and administration staff.

Nelson Tasman Hospice chief executive Frans Dellebeke

Nelson Tasman Hospice chief executive Frans Dellebeke Photo: SUPPLIED

Hospice chief executive Frans Dellebeke said they planned to move the hospice to either Stoke or Richmond where growth in the aged-care population was greatest, and they hoped for a miracle that land for a new building might be gifted.

Initial scoping by local construction and architectural firms revealed they would need about a 1.4 hectare site.

"We've had a couple of people help us with some initial land value as well as potential cost, and a Rolls Royce model - we could be looking at between $10 million and $14 million. We have to start somewhere but we'll probably end up peeling back from that," Mr Dellebeke said.

Once a site had been identified, fundraising would begin to ensure a purpose built hospice was completed. The hospice received 67 percent of its annual funding from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, and raised $1.2 million a year to make ends meet.

"There is no government money to fund the building of a new hospice, so we will rely on grants and fundraising initiatives which we know the community will get behind," Mr Dellebeke said.

The new hospice building needed to be up and running by early 2019.