Facilities provided by the hospice movement here in Buckinghamshire are invaluable, both for the patients who receive palliative care there and for the work which they do to support families.

That was why it was a privilege to be invited, earlier this month, to see the new Thames Hospice building, which is being built near Bray Lake. It will provide 28 in-patient beds for people from East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

The Thames Hospice first opened its doors in 1987 and some thirty years on the need for dedicated palliative care continues to expand. Debbie Raven, the chief executive of the Thames Hospice, has pointed out that patient numbers are greater and also that hospices “are caring for more patients with increasingly complex illnesses and symptoms”.

At Bray Lake, in addition to the 28 individual in-patient rooms, there will also be a new Day Centre, offering a wider range of therapeutic and social activities for day-patients as well as in-patients. That will mean the hospice can double its day-service provision.

There will be a dedicated family room and accommodation so that family members can stay overnight. The plan is for these facilities to open in 2020. It will also be intended for use as a community hub.

It is an impressive and ambitious project, not least because there will be an Education Centre which will promote palliative care excellence.

The staff will be able to develop their skills and the centre will also be able to offer education to others in the community.

The hospice service depends greatly on volunteers within the community, without whose equally dedicated work the projects like this would literally remain only as plans on paper, never becoming a facility which will offer care to so many people.

The hospice movement in the UK can do what it does because there are individuals who give their energy, time and imagination to support this cause.

The volunteers who work so hard are an integral part of this effort and they are bringing about real changes.

RT Hon Dominic Grieve, QC, MP for Beaconsfield