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New end of life unit opened by Birmingham Lord Mayor

Birmingham Community Healthcare has officially opened a new unit which has been specially designed for people being cared for at the end of their life.

In a ceremony attended by staff, patients and relatives, the new Sheldon Unit at West Heath Hospital was officially opened by The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood.

The Sheldon Unit was previously located in Northfield, where it had provide end of life and respite care for 24 years, but was relocated to ward 11 at West Heath Hospital over the summer to a newly refurbished 20-bedded unit.

Clinical team leader Judith Russell said: “We are honoured to welcome The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood to our new unit. The space has been designed to be light and airy and offer calm and comfort to both patients and their families going through a difficult time.

Lord Mayor Cllr Anne Underwood opening new Sheldon Unit
Lord Mayor Cllr Anne Underwood cuts the ribbon at the new Sheldon Unit, pictured with clinical team leader Judith Russell (far left), BCHC chairman Tom Storrow (far right) and Sheldon Unit team
Cllr Anne Underwood meeting a patient's family
At the event, Cllr Anne Underwood spent time talking to patients and their families

“We have worked hard to maintain a high standard of care in this unit – now we have a high quality unit to match.”

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood said: “When my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I had to fight to get him discharged to a private facility so he would have daily care of highest quality for his last few days. So, it gives me great pleasure to open an NHS unit that takes pride in providing individualised, dignified care to people reaching the end of their life.”

After opening the unit, The Lord Mayor was taken on a tour where she had the chance to see the new, purpose-built facility and talk to staff and families. Cllr Underwood also saw the new memorial tree, donated by local funeral directors, Mortons. The tree gives families the opportunity to engrave a memory on one of the trees ‘leaves’ as a legacy to their loved one, in return for a small donation to the Trust’s charity.