Gretchen Hartley is the executive director of the Cowichan Hospice Society. (File photo)

Gretchen Hartley is the executive director of the Cowichan Hospice Society. (File photo)

Schematic design sought for a new hospice in the Cowichan Valley

Duncan’s Cairnsmore Place determined to be best place for facility

Island Health has issued a Request for Proposals seeking proponents to develop a schematic design for a proposed hospice in the Cowichan Valley.

A schematic design is the next step of exploring the possibility of a new hospice facility in the community by 2020 to meet the growing needs of the region into the future.

It has been determined that the best location for the proposed hospice would be a new build connected to the Cairnsmore Place care facility in Duncan.

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A schematic design will allow Island Health and Cowichan Hospice to determine the capital and operating costs associated with this project and will be a critical step in establishing the potential project’s scope.

Once defined, and the capital costs outlined, the project would then be submitted to the Cowichan Hospice’s board, Island Health’s board and then the province for approval.

Cowichan Hospice has committed to fund the schematic design costs.

If approved, Cowichan Hospice would lead community fundraising for 100 per cent of the construction costs and Island Health would fund ongoing operating costs for five new hospice beds.

A release from Island Health said the health authority is committed to enhancing hospice services in the Cowichan region as part of a long-term strategy to double the number of hospice spaces across Vancouver Island from 32 to 64 beds by 2020.

“A new hospice house will provide the quality care that our community needs and deserves for loved ones at the end of life,” said Gretchen Hartley, executive director of the Cowichan Hospice Society.

“We are pleased that the hospice will be welcoming to family members however defined, as part of the team of care.”

The RFP can be viewed at BC Bid at www.bcbid.ca.