Strathcarron Hospice will have new facilities and the space to deliver ‘even better care for patients’ from next year, after planning permission for an extension was granted.
A new support block – linked to the original building with a footbridge – will include consultants’ room, a meeting room, a new changing area and a kitchen.
Welcoming the news, Irene McKie, the hospice’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that our planning proposal to extend the hospice has been approved.
“It is especially significant as this year marks the 40th anniversary of Strathcarron first opening its doors as an independent hospice.
“We have been caring for patients and their families from across all our local communities for over four decades and although we have made improvements over the years, these new facilities and space will enable us to continue to deliver better service and care for our patients.
“The plans include a new building which will be accessed via foot bridge over part of the lower ground car park.
“This new and improved extension will be a much-needed upgrade to the staff changing area.
“By relocating our laundry room, we can expand our patient kitchen, as well as free up space for more advantageous use, for example, creating more rooms to accommodate family guests overnight. “
Ms McKie added that she hoped building work would start around summertime next year.
The new building has been designed to be fully accessible with wide corridors with room for manoeuvring wheelchairs.
Planners also agreed that the size, scale and modern design of the new facility would complement the existing building.
There was some concern that the new building would require the loss of seven parking spaces, as in the past there has been an overspill of parking onto public roads surrounding the hospice.
However, in their report, council planning officers noted that an extension to the car park had been built in 2019.
They also accepted that there had been long-term changes to working patterns caused by the pandemic, and the fact that more people are now working from home or remotely means there will be sufficient parking.
By local democracy reporter Kirsty Paterson