Patients in the final stages of their life will be helped with everything they need

Work on the project at the palliative treatment centre at St Michael Hospice in Santa Venera continues at a good pace. This project for the first time will be offering residential services to patients who can no longer live at home.

St Michael Hospice will also offer treatment during the day to cancer patients. The plan is to start offering its services towards the end of next year.

From the main entrance one finds one’s self in a garden and next to the building there will be an underground car park. The other side of the building will be for equipment used by patients who continue to live at home. Hospice Malta offers this service for free and at the new complex one will be able to drive in with a car and load the necessary equipment easily.

The architect, Claude Borg, explained how the building will be split into two – on one side there will be an area for patients who require care 24/7 and the other side will be for patients who need daycare services.

“Here we had very large wards and for this project we needed a number of rooms for in-patients with their own room. We have already begun the process of building the rooms in these spaces, and they have already been roofed over, now we are carrying out the necessary excavation to prepare for the pipework. The other side will be the daycare where the civil works have been completed and then there is another section which is the equipment area.”

Andrew Zammit from Hospice Malta explained that the project is on schedule and is expected to be ready either by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. He said that today Hospice Malta offers assistance to around 1,300 patients yearly, however once it is open, St Michael Hospice will be able to help twice as many patients.

“The aim is to offer palliative care at the opportune time, to all those who need it under one roof, so the ultimate scope is to collect all our services which Hospice currently offers as well as the new services both at community level and now, for the first time, with the in-patient unit once this project is completed.”

Andrew Zammit said the area at St Michael Hospice where patients will be residing permanently will contain 16 rooms.

“Our intention is that patients who are unfortunately in the last stages of their life will be helped with everything they need in the in-patient unit, however the majority of services will continue as they are today, that is at the patient’s home.  We provide health services such as pain management, carers and physiotherapists. The loaning of special equipment will have a whole division dedicated to it; since this costs a lot of money the patient sometimes has a financial barrier and cannot afford it. We will loan out this equipment for free, while also offering psychological services.”

The building, which was previously the Adelaide Cini Institute at Santa Venera, was given to Hospice by the Church around a year and a half ago. The project will cost a total of 12.5 million Euro, and the Government as well as European funds will be helping Hospice to cover this cost. However, in order for St Michael Hospice to be completed this entity is also relying on  donations from the public.