Sue Ryder to Sell Joyce Grove Hospice at Nettlebed


The Sue Ryder charity has announced plans to sell its Edwardian building that houses its hospice at Nettlebed, near Henley on Thames.

Holly Spiers, Sue Ryder Director of Hospices & Fundraising, said “Sue Ryder has been working with the local Clinical Commissioning Group and other healthcare providers to understand the need for end of life care across South Oxfordshire.

“Our research clearly shows that more and more people are looking to be cared for in their own home, and we know that there is an unmet need in South Oxfordshire. To ensure that our services meet the future needs of the community we are looking to develop a 24/7 palliative care service in the community. We are shifting our care to where it is most needed enabling far more people to access our services.

“We will not be stopping our services; we will be looking for alternative ways to deliver them to more people.  As a result we plan on selling Nettlebed and creating a community hub which will provide a base for our community services. We will be working closely with Oxfordshire CCG and the Locality Clinical Director to find other ways to deliver these services and offer our in-patient care at other locations.

“This is not a cost-cutting exercise, nor is it about closing down our services. We are changing how are services are delivered to reflect the changing needs of our patients and their families.

“We would like to reassure the community that whilst we develop our plans we will continue to deliver the same well regarded and respected services from this building. As always, we remain incredibly grateful for the community’s continued support, which enables us to be there for people at the most difficult time of their lives.”

It is understood people will be cared for at the hospice at Nettlebed until an alternative is found that is right for Sue Ryder and right for people in the local community.

Joyce Grove, a Grade II listed building with 27 acres of grounds, was built in 1908 for Robert Fleming, grandfather of James Bond author Ian Fleming.

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4 replies
  1. Lyndon Barrett says:

    Such a terrible decision. Not everyone wants to stay at home and sometimes the surrounding at the hospice asked just why is needed for someome terminally ill to relax and let go. My partner and I had just this experience in December with her mother and she was so much more relaxed in the hospice environment. Such a bad decision. The staff and care given at Joyce Grove is exceptional and will be a huge loss to the local community.

  2. Emma Secker says:

    Please don’t close. My Mum wanted to be at home but, when the time came, her body was failing to such an extent it was completely distressing and upsetting for all of us, very hard to manage effectively and confidently. Moving into the hospice, initially just for some respite before returning home for Christmas, meant that Mum’s physical needs could be much better catered for – the entire staff were attentive, knowledgeable and wonderfully discreet – and so she and I, her carer, relaxed. I could then become her daughter again instead of stressing over her medical needs. The pain management was exceptional and the conscientious care of us as an entire fsmily meant we were able to say goodbye in time and she could pass away peacefully. This would never have been so well-managed at home. It was being under constant supervision that helped.
    Now, in the weeks that have followed, it has been carthartic to return to this beautiful building for bereavement counselling. Thank You! Mum felt it was ‘like a five star hotel’ – please don’t deny others that luxury at such a sad and scary time.

  3. Pam says:

    This is a horrendous decision. My husbands ashes are in the grounds of joyce Grove where a tree has been planted in his memory. It is a flowering cherry by the pond and it gives me great strength and comfort to visit Joyce Grove on special occasions i.e birthdays, anniversaries etc.

    I am sure the land will be turned into development land which will totally destroy the beauty and peace of this historic land. I know this property is Grade II listed but as always the planners manage to get round this problem and have their own way.

    Such a disgrace!!

  4. Lynne Carter says:

    How can we sit back and let this happen. We are told that numbers using Nettlebed facilities are falling and 70 percent of people surveyed wished to die at home – who are these people? Of those I have spoken to, and those numbers are quite considerable, not one person said they would like to die at home for the same reasons quoted by Emma above. Sue Ryder say the provision of one to one care in the home is preferable to dying in a Hospice, so are all the Hospices throughout the country wasting their time? Sue Ryder also say that Nettlebed is difficult to access as it is not on a bus route – how many of us go anywhere on a bus today? The Royal Berkshire Hospital is also difficult to access as are many other health care facilities but we make provisions for this. If we want to keep a hospice to replace the beautiful Nettlebed site then we must make our voices heard. Set up a petition, talk to the local media, talk to your MP or something. We must have our voices heard.


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