Life & Living
What makes Priscilla Bacon Lodge so special?
Priscilla Bacon Lodge has played a vital role in delivering specialist palliative and end-of-life care to the people of Norfolk and Waveney for over 40 years, both in a hospice setting and in the community.
The existing hospice on Unthank Road in Norwich was opened in 1979, after a 16-month fundraising campaign. This was a significant achievement, as was reported in an article which appeared in the EDP in July 1978: “Launched during a period when the Jubilee was filtering a good deal of public interest, energy and money, the appeal for £250,000 might have been seen as a difficult target to achieve. In the event, the impact and initial response was little short of staggering. Within a year the fund stood at only £38,000 below target.”
The modern hospice movement was founded by Dame Cicely Saunders at St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967, as the first facility linking expert pain and symptom control, compassionate care, teaching and clinical research. Dame Cicely revolutionised the way in which society cares for the ill, the dying, and
Priscilla, Lady Bacon, met Cicely Saunders at St Christopher’s Hospice in Southeast London, and was inspired to create a hospice in Norfolk. A fundraising appeal was launched, with Lady Bacon as President of the campaign. In recognition of her endeavours, the new hospice was named after her. When Priscilla Bacon Lodge was opened in 1979, it was not only one of the first hospices to be built in the whole country, but it was also the first in East Anglia.
Lady Bacon played an active role at The Lodge, as Patron of the Priscilla Bacon Lodge Support Group, a Charity which has provided ancillary services to patients and their families since 1977. She continued in this role until she spent her final days as a patient at The Lodge in 2000. The role of Patron was taken over by Priscilla’s daughter-in-law, Susan Bacon.
By this time, it was recognised that the Lodge was too small, and Lady Bacon wrote to Dame Cicely Saunders before Dame Cicely died in 2005, to explain the initial plan to create a new hospice in a new location. Dame Cicely gave her blessing for the idea, and was sure that the people of Norfolk would, once again, generously raise the funds required for the new hospice.
Each year the Lodge supports 10,000 people through their inpatient beds, outpatient services within the Day Unit, the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team, and the Psychological and Bereavement Services. However, after 40 years of excellence, Priscilla Bacon Lodge is now inadequate both in scale and configuration, as the population of Norfolk has grown by 220,000 in this time, multiplying demand, and in its current location it cannot be extended.
Therefore, a new charity was created; the Priscilla Bacon Hospice Charity, which launched a campaign to raise £12.5 million to build a new hospice to replace the original Priscilla Bacon Lodge. Once built, the new facility will have the capacity for 24 inpatient beds. It will offer improved day care facilities, with a wellness centre and gym, as well as the space to host a community hub to provide ‘virtual ward’ care for people being cared for in their homes. The new hospice will also be a platform for education and research into palliative and end-of-life care.
The new Priscilla Bacon Lodge will be the first hospice built in the post-Covid era, encompassing the latest developments in Infection Control. The new facility will not only meet current needs, but is fit for the future with the potential for further growth and the flexibility to adapt to changing models of care.
The Charity is continuing a proud history of hospice fundraising to ensure that Norfolk and Waveney is at the forefront of hospice care in the country, with the specialist facility it so urgently needs.
For further details about the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal, please contact: Hugo Stevenson, Head of Operations and Fundraising – 01603 331166 or