England

Appeal to raise £7m for West Midlands hospice

An appeal has started to raise £7m to build a new hospice for the West Midlands region.

The proposed £21m Marie Curie Cancer Care facility on Marsh Lane, Solihull, would have 24 en-suite single bedrooms with direct access onto gardens.

The sale of the 100-year-old building on Warwick Road, which "urgently needs replacing", would raise funds towards the scheme, the charity said.

It added it was hoping to open the new facility in 2013.

'Most modern facilities'

Marie Curie Cancer Care launched the two-year appeal on Thursday and said other money would come from its funds for the initiative.

The new hospice would provide increased patient capacity and expanded day care and outpatient services.

It would include training and education facilities for the hospice's clinical team and be the operational base for the local Marie Curie Nursing Service covering the region.

Liz Cottier, manager of the hospice in Solihull, said: "The new hospice will let us expand even further the range of services on offer and we'll have a spacious modern setting with beautiful gardens.

"My biggest concern is always for our patients and families.

"They need the most modern facilities for first-rate medical care, but they also need space and privacy to talk, laugh and sometimes cry together."

The public has previously given £3m for the new facility.

About 70% of the charity's income comes from the support of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of its funds coming from the NHS.

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