Hospice charity warns of £1m hole in finances

Charity

A hospice charity is “under threat and in urgent need of a lifeline” due to a £1m hole in its finances, its chief executive has warned.

Prospect Hospice, which is based in Wroughton, Wiltshire, said it costs £8.5m a year to run the charity.

The charity said it had reduced the number of beds in its inpatient unit to six, despite having room for 12.

Jeremy Lune, chief executive of Prospect Hospice, said the charity needs “funding it can rely on” if it is to survive and grow its services to meet increasing demand.

In a blog post, Lune said: “While the demand for and cost of delivering our care increases rapidly, the funding we get from the government has remained flat for more than 10 years, meaning, in real terms, that we get less year on year.

“This situation is simply not sustainable. To keep providing our vital services, we are having to make difficult decisions.”

The hospice sector is facing a £77m collective deficit, which the membership body Hospice UK described as the “worst in 20 years”.

According to Hospice UK data, payroll costs in the sector have risen by 11 per cent compared with the previous 12 months, equivalent to about £130m in additional spending over the full year.

Lune said he was grateful for support from donors but they should not be solely responsible for protecting their local hospice services.

“We can’t afford to lose Prospect Hospice. The knock-on effect on already overstretched NHS services would be catastrophic,” said Lune.

“The gap left by hospices like ours would rob people of their ability to have a good death, surrounded by their loved ones.”

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