Barcelona creates the first children’s palliative care center in Catalonia

Barcelona creates the first children's palliative care center in Catalonia

In an effort to provide comprehensive support to children and young people with advanced chronic diseases, Barcelona embarks on the creation of the first pediatric palliative care center in Catalonia.

The Enriqueta Villavecchia Children’s Oncology Foundation, in collaboration with the Departments of Health and Social Rights, is leading this visionary project that will bring the Victory Pavilion to life at the historic Sant Pau site.

This center, scheduled to begin operations in early 2026, will be a beacon of hope and care for those children and young people facing complex and advanced chronic diseases in their last days of life.

In addition to providing specialized medical care, the Victory Pavilion will be dedicated to providing a supportive emotional and practical environment for both patients and their families.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Manel Balcells, highlighted the importance of this project, underlining the need to provide a dedicated space to accompany and care for children in the final stages of their lives.

Although advances in medicine have been significant, there are still major challenges, with around 260 deaths of children in Catalonia each year due to diseases such as cancer.

The first children’s palliative care center in Catalonia

The Victory Pavilion will be located in a building with a rich history, built over a hundred years ago and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This building, which was originally intended for the care of sick children, will be restored and adapted to fulfill its new function as a pediatric palliative care center.

The rehabilitation of the space is being carried out by the Villavecchia Foundation and the Private Foundation of the Hospital de la Santa Cruz y Sant Pau, under the direction of the renowned architect Carme Pinós.

The center is expected to have a wide range of facilities, including multipurpose rooms for therapies and games, respite rooms, end-of-life family apartments, green areas and a swimming pool for hydrotherapy activities.

All for quality of life

The main objective of the Victory Pavilion is to ensure the best possible quality of life for children and young people in palliative care, as well as to provide comprehensive support to their families throughout the process.

With more than 1,500 children in Catalonia requiring pediatric palliative care and another 1,500 with complex chronic diseases, this center will fill a crucial gap in the region’s healthcare system.

This is expected to be the first of several similar centers in Catalonia, following the example of other European countries and the world.

With its opening, the Victory Pavilion will mark a milestone in pediatric care and demonstrate Barcelona’s commitment to the well-being of its youngest citizens.