St Michael’s Chief Executive reassures supporters following national Hospice funding concerns
St Michael’s Hospice is facing the same financial pressures as everyone else, but because of the generosity and loyalty of its supporters, the charity is working hard to maintain all vital services and activities.
Mike Keel, Chief Executive, sought to reassure supporters of the Bartestree-based charity following reports in the national media highlighting real-term cuts in Government funding resulting in some hospices struggling to cope with inflation and rising costs.
According to research from Hospice UK, nationally there is a £47m gap between the statutory funding hospices should have received to keep pace with inflation, and the actual money handed over.
“Clearly, the national picture as highlighted by Hospice UK is a concerning one,” said Mr Keel. “Fortunately, the situation at St Michael’s is less dire, thanks in no small part to our wonderful community of fundraisers, who continue to support us, despite feeling the pinch themselves.
“As a charity, the majority of our annual care costs are funded by these supporters. However, with the cost-of-living increases, it’s unfair to expect supporters to keep pace with inflation when they’ve got their own bills to pay.
“We’re very grateful for the statutory funding we receive, but like many other hospices, we would certainly benefit from any increase in those allocation of funds. It seems only right that St Michael’s is paid a fair price for what it does for the NHS just as other non-NHS providers receive.”
St Michael’s provides free of charge palliative and end of life care. Patients can receive care as an Inpatient or through Day attendance at the charity’s Bartestree site – or in their own home delivered by the Hospice at Home service. Support is also offered to loved ones for as long as needed.
“Hospices are a vital part of our wider healthcare system,” said Hospice UK CEO, Toby Porter. “It is unfair and unrealistic for the Government to allow their funding to hospices to fall short and expect local communities that support hospices so generously to make up the shortfall.
“ICBs (Integrated Care Boards which distribute state funding to hospices) have a duty to ensure palliative and end of life care in their area is well funded. But our data shows that nowhere is that funding anywhere near keeping pace with inflation.
“We’ve been warning for over a year about the impact that insufficient Government funding will have on essential hospice services. It’s getting critical.”