After many years as a private residence, Somerton House became the Preparatory department for Belfast High School, before being bought by Northern Ireland Hospice in 1983. By 2002, the condition of the building was becoming an issue and the ongoing maintenance needs forecasted clearly demonstrated that the use of Somerton House as a Hospice would be untenable. A new facility would be required in which to deliver the palliative care needs of local people. After almost ten years of discussions, research, planning and finance applications, the decision was taken to purchase adjacent land & property and to completely rebuild a new state of the art Hospice on the old site. In 2013, Northern Ireland Hospice Adult services were relocated to a temporary facility in the grounds of Whiteabbey Hospital.