A HAMPSHIRE health boss has given her approval to ambitious expansion plans for the Countess of Brecknock Hospice.

Dr Lara Alloway, consultant in palliative medicine at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has praised the plans, which were rubber stamped by councillors last month.

The consultant, whose team run services at the hospice, says the 1,500 sq ft expansion will prevent waiting lists for beds.

Dr Alloway said: “We are delighted the Countess of Brecknock Hospice Trust has agreed to support this expansion of the hospice and will be funding the development.

“The planning approval is such good news for the palliative care services provided by the hospice in Andover.

“The hospice is much valued by the local community and the high quality of care it provides was recognised by the rating of outstanding given by the Care Quality Commission.

“It will prevent waiting lists for beds and day services and help us provide the local hospice care that local people value so much and want to keep.”

The development will incorporate unused land neighbouring the current Andover War Memorial based facility.

The expansion will include four new palliative care bedrooms, additional care facilities and two landscaped courtyards.

As well as creating more and larger bedrooms, the expansion will also accommodate a new social area in the middle of the hospice, a large treatment room and a new entrance.

Mary Edwards, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is of major importance that the Countess of Brecknock Hospice has received planning permission to expand and develop its facilities.

“It will make sure local people are cared for locally, a principle we stand by.

“The population is growing significantly across north and mid Hampshire and this development will ensure local people have access to care here when they need it, as well as offering more space for therapies and family support.

“The Countess of Brecknock Hospice Trust and the hospital have a long history of working together for local people and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is proud that the Countess of Brecknock Hospice is part of our service based at Andover War Memorial Hospital.

“I am delighted that this planning approval means we are able to do even more to improve local facilities for the community across north and mid Hampshire.”