GLASGOW’S newest hospice has welcomed its first patients.

The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, which was previously based in Carlton Place on the banks of the Clyde, has moved into a £21m building on a 7.5-acre site in Bellahouston Park.

Patients and nursing and support staff transferred to the new facility yesterday.

The hospice is the first in this country to be built to the Scandinavian Sengetun model of palliative care, which puts patients and families at the heart of the design.

The new building will offer support to 1200 new patients and families every year.

Rhona Baillie, hospice chief executive, said: “Today is an incredibly emotional moment for everyone at the hospice as we welcome our first patients and their families.

“It marks the culmination of six years of hard work and dedication from so many people – the thousands of individuals and groups who have supported us in Glasgow and Scotland, around the UK and even across the globe; our hugely committed staff and volunteers; our fundraising team and the architectural, design and construction team who have delivered such a fabulous facility.”

The Evening Times has backed the Brick by Brick Appeal since its launch six years ago, with many readers contributing hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds to the campaign.

Ex-pat Glaswegians around the world also contributed, with dedicated fundraising groups in London and New York working tirelessly to help reach the ambitious total.

Rhona added: “Most important of all are the patients and families we care for, who will now benefit from these wonderful facilities which will enable us to offer the highest standards of care anywhere in the country.”

Last week, it was revealed that the new building has been named in honour of Sir Arnold Clark, one of Scotland’s most celebrated businessmen and entrepreneurs.

The Arnold Clark company contributed a six-figure donation to the Brick by Brick Appeal, which raised the £21 million needed to build the facility on land gifted by Glasgow City Council.

The new building provides patients with adaptable private, social and family spaces specifically designed to boost wellbeing and create a sense of calm.

Sixteen en suite bedrooms with private terraces, soft-seated areas and open-plan kitchens offer home-style comfort which allows patients and families to spend time together,.

The aim is to provide more space, independence and privacy to allow greater opportunities for normal family activity.

The hospice now provides palliative care for young people aged 16 and over for the first time, in recognition of the growing need for services specifically for this age group as part of the transition from child to adult care.

Due to developments in care, many young people are living longer with conditions that were at one time limited to childhood, and the population of young people with life-limiting and life-shortening conditions is growing.

The transition between services for children and adults can be challenging as young people leave a familiar care setting.

The hospice’s commitment to the palliative care of young people also includes specialised accommodation to meet their particular needs, including family bedrooms, social areas, complementary therapy rooms, spa bathrooms and a young people’s lounge.

The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice was the brainchild of the late Dr Anne Gilmore OBE, a former Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year, who founded the institution in the 1980s.

The inspirational Glasgow GP studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, and pursued a career in geriatrics, before going on to become a consultant to the World Health Organisation, president of the British Society of Gerontology and president of the British Society of Thanatology.

She saw caring methods used in other countries to look after the terminally ill, and wanted to introduce a modern hospice for the people of Glasgow.

In 1980, staff at Black and White Whisky presented her with £4000 and a charitable trust was set up.

By 1985 a volunteer-manned phone support line had been set up, and within a year it was handling 100 calls a week.

Glasgow City Council gifted two townhouses in Carlton Place to the hospice as demand for services grew.

It was the idea of Glasgow’s then Lord Provost Michael Kelly to make the hospice a wedding gift to Charles and Diana from the people of Glasgow in 1981.

The royal couple visited in 1990, touring the building and chatting to patients, and over the years a host of famous faces have pledged their support, from television presenter Carol Smillie and radio and television presenter Kaye Adams, to actor Karen Dunbar and comedian Des Clarke.

In 1982, comedian Billy Connolly cycled from London to Glasgow to raise funds.