ALTHOUGH the £5m, 15-bed St David’s Hospice Care in patient unit in Newport has not yet been admitting patients for a year it has already garnered heaps of top awards.

The hospice, which was constructed into a challenging, sloping piece of former council-owned land at Malpas, Newport, has been wowing the world of architecture since Health Secretary Vaughan Gething officially opened it September 2017.

And it wasn’t until six months later that patients were admitted to the new hospice once it had been fully commissioned.

Designed down to the last precise detail internally and externally the multi award winning In Patient Unit (IPU) admitted its first patient after St David’s Hospice Care Chief Executive Emma Saysell was satisfied everything was in order and ready

The IPU was designed by KKE Architects, of Worcester.

Even before the official opening architects and related professionals from across the UK and Europe took a keen interest in the building and coming to see the building at first hand.

And the visits have not stopped. Only last week Emma entertained a dozen architects from the UK keen to have a look around the award-winning building

“It’s not just architects that have visited the hospice. Volunteers, people from the community, our supporters, sponsors, councillors, medical staff, doctors, specialists, in fact people from all walks of life have visited the new hospice to see what it is we have created to serve our community.

“Ever since the project was first mooted it has created quite a buzz. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we received to get the project off the ground, including the donation of the land from Newport City Council and also £3m from the National Assembly for Wales.

“The new hospice has been very well received by the community in particular patients and their families. It’s a real bonus to know that professionals hold the building in such high regard.

“Of course we’re absolutely thrilled to have received so many prestigious architectural awards for the new in patient unit especially as they point to the quality of the building and the way its design perfectly suits its end need.”

To date the St David’s Hospice Care IPU has won the following awards:

The Royal Institute of Building Awards RIBA National Award 2018. The first Welsh building to get this level of award for some three years

The RSAW Welsh Architecture Award 2018. It was one of only three buildings in Wales to gain this award.

The National Eisteddfod Gold Medal for Architecture 2018, known as best building in Wales award.

A Civic Trust Commendation 2018

Emma Saysell, Chief Executive Officer of St David’s Hospice Care won the RSAW Client of the year award 2018

RSAW judges in their citation for St David’s Hospice new In-Patient Unit by KKE Architects said: “The new building at St David’s Hospice owes much of its special quality to unusually insightful clients.”

The citation goes on to say: “The hospice is beautifully calm and serene. The In-patient unit achieves an air of spirituality while avoiding any implication of judgemental sanctity. The colours and materials are restrained: a tightly controlled palette of warm natural tones. The consistency is thoughtful and deliberate, a specific requirement of the client that patients and visitors should not be distracted by any implied differentiation between occupants.”

And St David’s Hospice Care has also been shortlisted for the RIBA National Client of the Year 2018 award. The charity is one of just four clients in the whole of UK to be shortlisted and the first time a Welsh client has been shortlisted.

The winner of this prestigious award is to be announced during the RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 Awards at The Round House, Chalk Farm Road, London on Wednesday, October 10.

Emma revealed she had been inundated with messages of support and thanks in the months since the hospice had admitted its first patients

She said: “I’ve had comments like:” I and my family had never had any experience of a hospice and really didn’t know what to expect. We were completely amazed by everything at the St David’s Hospice from the welcome, to the facilities to the staff.

“Another said: “The fact that we could park easily when we arrived and just walk into the hospice was amazing. It just took away so much of the stress. The hospice has a feeling of calm, peace and serenity. The facilities in the rooms are fantastic with ensuite facilities and accommodation for overnight stay for family members if required.

Another commented:”The setting and the fabulous views across to Twm Barlwm are amazing. The stress seemed to fall from my relative and he became more relaxed as soon as he entered the hospice which helped us to relax. We also felt more at ease knowing that he was being cared for in such an amazing place by such marvellous, caring people.”

Emma said: “The new hospice has been a very welcome addition to the services that we offer free of charge throughout our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The facilities provided at the hospice for patients and their families are second to none. The feedback we’ve had from patients and their families has been overwhelming and humbling.”

The ultra-modern, 15-bed in patient centre, which is linked to the existing day hospice by a corridor, replaced the 10 bedded St Anne’s hospice unit.

St David’s Hospice Care, established in 1979, looks after more than 3,200 patients and their families every year. Staff care for patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses such as end-stage heart failure and motor neurone disease.

St David’s Hospice Care serves a population of more than 600,000 people from Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire as well as Mid and South Powys.

The new building is designed in such as way as to have each of the 15 bedrooms leading onto a terraced area overlooking lawns. A patients’ lounge overlooks the lawns. There is a cafe and garden at the front used by patients and visitors. The new facility also benefits from a social hub and community café, which overlooks flower and plant filled gardens and is served by a 50 space car park.

St. David’s, established in 1979, has grown to become the UK’s largest provider of hospice at home care, caring for more than 3,200 patients with cancer and other life-threatening conditions and their families every year, at an annual cost of more than £8 million and rising.