UPDATED: Royal Jubilee gets 15 more patient beds for Greater Victoria end-of-life care

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Hospice and palliative care beds will nearly double to a total of 31 dedicated to end-of-life care in Victoria by April of 2020.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix made the announcement Wednesday on top of the Richmond Pavilion in the Victoria Hospice rooftop garden. Dix stood in front of the very bell that can be heard when friends and family ring it to acknowledge the passing of a loved one.

“We are bringing the total to 18 publicly funded, community hospice beds at Victoria Hospice,” Dix said. “And in addition, Island Health is adding seven new palliative beds in the patient care centre, bringing that total to 15.”

It’s an increase of $5.8 million annually to palliative and end-of-life care in Greater Victoria. The new services are scheduled to be in place by spring 2020.

Victoria Hospice started in 1980 and is on the top floor of the Richmond Pavilion at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Hospice volunteer Sarah Durno stayed there after she experienced hospice when her dad stayed there until his death five years ago.

When her dad arrived at hospice, he was made as comfortable as possible.

“Then my mom was made comfortable, and I was made comfortable,” Durno said. “It struck me that this wasn’t just a place for patients to be cared for but also the family and the caregivers, and that’s what makes Victoria Hospice so special and why today’s announcement is so important.

“These new beds give so much to those who pass through these halls and elevators, on their last journey with people who love them.”

READ ALSO: Mobile palliative care team launches for downtown Victoria’s homeless population

READ ALSO: Oak Bay woman retires from 34-year call of Victoria Hospice work

“Our loved ones deserve access to the services that ensure they are comforted and cared for by highly trained staff,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “This expansion at the Royal Jubilee Hospital means people will receive the care they deserve when they need it most.”

Victoria Hospice has 120 staff and more than 300 trained volunteers who care for about 1,000 patients each year either in their homes or at Victoria Hospice.

READ ALSO: West Shore seniors forced to relocate, no hospice care

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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