Friends of Hospice and BHB sign memorandum of understanding

11 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and Friends of Hospice, the charity that has been supporting Bermuda’s only hospice Agape House for 25 years, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to allow Friends of Hospice to develop a new purpose-built hospice facility on the BHB-owned Harbour Vista site, situated at 25 Berry Hill Road, Paget.

Venetta Symonds, BHB CEO (seated) and Alison Soares, Friends of Hospice Chairman, sign the MOU

This Memorandum of Understanding allows Friends of Hospice to move forward with the development of the 1.23-acre site to build a hospice facility that will serve the Bermuda community for many years to come. The new site, situated on a hilltop adjacent to Kind Edward VII Memorial Hospital, will provide patients and their families with a peaceful and intimate setting with view of both Hamilton Harbour and Bermuda’s South Shore. The new facility will have 8 single patient rooms, each with access to an outdoor balcony, a central nursing station, as well as meeting rooms for families, a meditation room, all surrounded by beautiful and serene gardens.

Friends of Hospice chairman Alison Soares, said, “This is another exciting step towards creating a much-needed purpose-built new residential hospice facility for our Bermuda community. While our existing facility provides excellent care, the needs of the community have grown beyond what we can realistically and effectively provide in our existing facility, which is well over 100 years old in some parts. It is our vision that everyone deserves the right to compassion, dignity, respect and comfort in their final days and our plans for the new build will position us well to continue to provide the best hospice and palliative care for many years to come.

“There is still much work to be done before we start construction,” Ms Soares said, “but we are grateful to BHB for making it possible for us to move forward. While plans are already at an advanced stage, this allows us to complete plans with the architects, finalize costs and timelines and ultimately share all details with the community, which will be in the coming weeks.”

BHB CEO, Venetta Symonds, added: “We are very pleased to formally sign this MOU, which paves the way towards a new hospice building. Both BHB and Friends of Hospice staff working in partnership help ensure a wonderful and caring service to patients and their families. A purpose-built building provides opportunities to fully realize all the potential of this wonderful hospice service. We remain grateful to Friends of Hospice for their dedicated support and involvement over 25 years, and we are excited to move forward on this exciting project with them.”

Bermuda Hospitals Board owns and operates Agape House, which cares for patients with a broad range of serious and life-threatening illnesses, taking a holistic approach to patient care in line with international best practices. Friends of Hospice (Bermuda charity #391) is the charity providing financial support to Agape House, as well as specialized therapeutic programmes and services that are complementary to medical treatment, as well as meal services, and a number of other support services.

Additional details on Friends of Hospice’s plans for a new hospice facility – including architectural drawings and fundraising plans – will be forthcoming by end of summer.

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.