A planning application has been submitted by staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice for works to the courtyard to improve safety at the site. Thorpe Hall is Peterborough’s only specialist palliative care inpatient unit.
The existing courtyard comprises of a mix of cobblestones, a flagstone pathway and coloured paving slabs.
The opening on the In Patient Unit at the site in 2016 saw footfall heavily increase as well as ambulances regularly arriving to drop off service users.
Sue Ryder has said that the surface was never built with this kind of usage in mind and is now showing significant signs of damage and wear. The current situation has been described as a “serious health and safety concern” as the majority on the cobblestones and flagstones are either broken or no longer bedded into place which is causing tripping hazards to pedestrians.
The uneven and cobbled surface is also a problem for service users who are brought into reception on patient trolleys from the ambulance transport. In the planning documents, the charity added: “As an end of life patient, this is very distressful at a time when we are trying to give them the best and most comfortable condition that we can.”
It has been proposed that the flagstone pathway be removed and a wider suitable road/pathway is installed using imprinted concrete.
The works would also give the hospice the opportunity to sort out the drainage within the courtyard as currently as the levels of the surface are not correct. There is a lot of standing water after rainfall which, during cold weather, can cause a serious safety issue.
The plans added: “Sue Ryder would like to carry out these works because without it being sorted it is an accident waiting to happen.”