What Overgate Hospice Do
Overgate Hospice aim is to care for the whole person to give them the best possible quality of life. Overgate Hospice provide support for their families and carers. Treatment is based upon an approach that treats each person as an individual. Overgate Hospice care for the “whole person” including their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Overgate Hospice service is open to all who meet our eligibility criteria, regardless of race or creed.
Overgate Hospice Mission Statement:
We are an independent and local charity with a mission to ensure that our patients, and those close to them, live with the best possible quality of life. We do this by providing the highest standard of compassionate and evidence-based specialist palliative and end of life care for adults in Calderdale who have active, progressive, life-limiting illnesses.
Philosophy of care
- We care for the whole person and their family, friends and carers.
- We respect each patient’s priorities and strive to enable them to achieve their personal goals.
• The support of our community, without which we could not raise the funds necessary to provide care. We value every penny raised.
• The contribution and diversity of our staff and volunteers.
• Partnership and collaboration with other health and social care professionals – the patient has the best experience when we work together.
• A culture of learning and continuous improvement, team work, professionalism, honesty, inclusiveness and kindness.
• Feedback that helps us to learn and improve.
Sylvia Graucob first came to live in Overgate, the family home of her husband Find, when they got married. On the same plot as Overgate stood another house, Hazeldene, with magnificent rose gardens surrounding both.
It was not long before Sylvia fell in love with the house. Many years of happy marriage passed within its walls, and she always found it a peaceful place to be. It was only when Find became ill that the couple decided to move to Jersey. The houses were at this time owned by the company, Nu–Swift, which Find had founded and successfully built up in Elland. Two years later, Find unfortunately died.
When Sylvia returned to the house she spent many hours wandering through its emptiness, and it was at one of these times that she had the idea to do something with the house so it would not be sold and converted to smaller houses, which was the fate of the large property next door.
Sylvia looked into buying the house and gardens from Nu-Swift and was successful in purchasing them. Her first idea was to perhaps have it as an elderly people’s home. While she was thinking about the possibilities it was made known to her that two doctors in the area were looking to purchase a large property in which to create the first ever Hospice for Calderdale.
Finally in 1979, Sylvia met with Dr Quinn, one of the founders, who inspired her with his vision of what a hospice could provide for the community. In those days there were only 60 hospices in the whole country so barely anybody knew much about them. Sylvia recalled her mother saying "you can’t call it a 'hospice'" not realising they were a rare, but already established, institution in the UK.
Sylvia believed that Dr Quinn and the committee behind him would be able to put her beloved Overgate to good use, and so it was handed over shortly afterwards. Sylvia and Find had once brought a large rusty coloured key home from a Palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice, and with the Halifax Courier present to record the occasion, the key was symbolically handed over. Dr Quinn suggested the name ‘Graucob House’ but it was thought that might cause many spelling mistakes! Sylvia suggested Overgate instead, thus in-keeping with the old name.
From its beginnings Overgate relied heavily on volunteers to help establish it. In the first ten years Sylvia came once a month overseeing the renovations and there were three particularly committed volunteers Mrs Stephanie Rourke, Mr Philip Taylor and Mr Douglas Calvert, who did a great deal for the hospice. To this day, Overgate relies very much on the goodwill of the community and volunteers who carry out a variety of roles from serving tea to fundraising.
In 1981 the first part of the building to open was the upper floor, which had been the family bedrooms, as an inpatient hospice. At the same time the first Palliative Care nurse post in Calderdale was introduced and it made sense for the nurse to be based at the Hospice. The links between what became known as the MacMillan nursing service and the hospice were forged in those early days. Later, when the MacMillan service became much larger, it moved to the Cancer Unit opened at Calderdale Royal Hospital though both services still work closely together.
The demand for the hospice grew and in 1994, following a major fundraising appeal, a new purpose built inpatient unit with 12 beds was opened by the Duchess of Norfolk. Overgate Hospice is the leading provider of palliative care in Calderdale along with its partnership organisations.
A Day Hospice was opened in 1995 on the first floor of the house. The aim was to provide supportive palliative care to those with life threatening illness such as cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, prior to the need for inpatient care.
The Day Hospice has also considerably expanded; with its own purpose built space opening in 2005. In 2008 it opened five days a week offering a warm, friendly and caring environment to help patients and carers adjust to the physical and psychological demands of their illness, offering emotional and social support. In 2011 a further extension was built to offer patients more space and better facilities. Day Hospice patients have access to medical and nursing professionals experience in palliative care.
The Day Hospice can be a joyful place. Patients enjoy meeting each other in a place where they can be open and frank about their illness and experiences of treatment. The staff are caring, wanting to provide the best possible experience for the guests in what are very difficult circumstances dealing with life threatening illness. It is a very personalised service.
The Hospice is pleased to honour those who were prime movers in the creation of the Hospice and who gave their time and efforts in the early years. In particular Dr Quinn, Ms Stephanie Rourke, Mr Philip Taylor and Mr Robert Ranson (former Chief Executive of the Group Hospitals in and around Calderdale) who promoted the survival of the Hospice at a time when government funding was being refused.
For all those who have made contributions, we say Thank You. We also say thank you to all those who have made donations over the years and for the all the support received from the community.
A ‘Hospice’, was originally a place people came to rest on a journey. For some it is a final resting place and for others an exposure to death which will change their lives forever. For all it is a place of contemplation, a place of transforming identities and reassessing values. It is a place where the deepest desires of one’s heart are, for some, finally revealed, and a place where the love of those close to you becomes all important. It is a bridge between the material and the spiritual worlds – A hospice is therefore a very special place for all those who come to it.
Overgate Hospice is an equal opportunities employer, to download our equal opportunities policy Please Click Here.
Overgate Hospice are registered with the Care Quality Commission:
Registered Manager: Ange Walton
Certificate Number: 1-281796497
About the Care Quality Commission
CQC are the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
They regulate care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. They aim to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes. CQC also seek to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.
For further information please visit www.cqc.org.uk
Please click here to download Overgate's latest CQC report.
All Star Family Fortunes funny man and Panto star Neil Hurst is a local celebrity and has been supporting the hospice for many years including compering hospice events such as the annual Garden Party and helping to organise the Overgate Big Night Out.
Dr Brian Whitaker
Dr Brian Whitaker retired in 2011 and, after working for Overgate Hospice for over 18 years and being such a valuable member of staff, is now continuing to support Overgate by actively promoting the hospice to local GP’s .
Claire O’Connor, a mother of four from Greetland, set up the dance academy ‘Baby Ballet’ for babies and toddlers. Her classes have proved so successful that she now franchises the idea across the country. Despite her busy lifestyle Claire still finds time to support the hospice by attending and promoting hospice events and selling hospice merchandise.
Neil Davidson, the former Group CSR Manager of Marshalls PLC, is a member of the Overgate Hospice Corporate Steering Committee and also organises the Overgate Sportsman’s Dinner. Neil has recently been awarded the ‘Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire’ title for services to the Community of Calderdale.