Changes to Hospice Care for Southend

Fair Havens, which provides hospice care to adults in Southend, Castle Point and Rochford is transferring its care to the community as it prepares to move to a new building.

Fair Havens, which currently has an In-Patient Unit on Chalkwell Avenue, will be managing admissions from January 6th 2020, and its staff will be redeployed to care for more patients in their home and within the charity’s Day Hospice for a minimum of a nine-week period.

The recent retirement of a long-standing Palliative Care Consultant and the imminent relocation of the adult hospice has led to a decision to change the model of care for a temporary period. With no on-site doctor available to provide the necessary medical support within the hospice and other local healthcare providers unable to assist due to the national shortage of consultants specialising in this field, the hospice has repurposed staff to strengthen its community and Day Hospice services.

Director of Care for Havens Hospices Ellie Miller says, “We have put a lot of time and work into preparing for this change, working with our healthcare network to look at every viable option, and changing our model temporarily to ensure a sustainable care service for our community.

“This is the best solution to ensure our patients are still receiving the best possible end of life care, symptom control and respite, but within their homes (or Day Hospice if appropriate) rather than the existing Fair Havens building.”

The charity will be using this as an opportunity to prepare for the changes ahead. A brand-new hospice is being built in Prittlewell opposite Priory Park and is due to open in spring 2020. As well as 16 bedrooms, there will be a larger Day Hospice, more therapy and treatment rooms, a rehabilitation gym and a Bistro for patients, families and visitors.

Ellie continues, “Learning to deliver care in a new building, with systems and technology that we have not used before, will take time and practice in order to feel confident and demonstrate competence.

“Also, transferring patient care during a phased opening of a new hospice is not unusual practice.  It means that staff can re-adjust to new ways of working.  It allows us to say goodbye to the old building and models of care.  Many staff have strong emotional connections with the old building, having worked here since the early days.”

The local healthcare network including those who may refer patients for hospice care have been informed of these changes and conversations have taken place with patients and families who are currently within the hospice to make alternative plans if appropriate.

If patients or families have any questions or concerns, they can contact Director of Care Ellie Miller on

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Day Hospice patient taking part in creative therapy