BARNSLEY Hospice is set to extend and improve the services it offers to patients and their families after securing nearly £500,000 in a grant from the Department of Health.

The £469,779 successful application will make a very significant contribution to enable the hospice to extend its facilities to include a lounge/dining area for patients and their visitors, a spiritual room, new treatment rooms, an expanded drug preparation area and an extension to the gardens.

The new lounge/dining area will mean that patients will be able to dine with their relatives or visitors and other patients if they wish. A spiritual room will create an area for peace, prayer and contemplation - seeing a 100% increase in space for patients’ relatives and friends.

"Additional treatment rooms will enable more patients to be seen by doctors, nurses and therapists in the hospice," said Dr Becky Hirst, the hospice's medical director. "Patients often visit with their relatives, so the additional space will allow for a much more comfortable environment for examinations and the space to have conversations about future care and support needed."

Diana Gibson, the director of patient services for the hospice, echoed Dr Hirst's thoughts.

"Our new facilities will help us to provide an even better service for the people of Barnsley. We are thankful to the Department of Health for this fantastic opportunity to improve the services offered to local patients who deserve to have access to the best possible palliative and end of life care."