Eight in ten charitable hospices planning a deficit budget this financial year says Hospice UK

Oct 07, 2019

Eight in ten (82 per cent) of charitable hospices surveyed by Hospice UK say they are planning a deficit budget this financial year according to newly released figures issued today by the national hospice and end of life care charity.

It says funding for the UK’s 200 charitable hospices is on a knife-edge and that vital care for dying people needs to stop being so reliant on local fundraising such as community fetes and buying second hand clothes from hospice shops.

Earlier this year two hospices were forced to close and others have had to cut services or jobs.

Last month the Government announced a £25million cash injection for charitable hospices and palliative care providers in England. At the time the Prime Minister also promised to conduct a more detailed review of funding for end of life care.

Hospice UK is now calling on the Government to follow through on its earlier commitment and bring this forward. The charity says that funding for the end of life care system as a whole, including hospices, is ‘broken’ and that a sustainable solution needs to be developed urgently, especially to meet fast growing demand for this care.

Earlier research by Hospice UK shows that more than 100,000 people are not able to get the support they need at the end of life across all care settings.

And more than 40% of care home residents, many of whom have complex needs associated with the end of life, are forced to pay for their care under current rules.

Charitable hospices need to raise around two thirds of their income themselves, largely from public donations, community fundraising and business sponsorship. Hospices for adults in England on average receive only a third of their funding from the NHS and for many this income has been flat-lining in recent years. Children’s hospices receive even less from the NHS.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said:

“We are gravely concerned about the financial situation of many charitable hospices. This is symptomatic of how the funding model for end of life care as a whole is broken. It no longer reflects the complexity of modern end of life care and what people actually need, nor the immense growing demand for this care.

“In the twenty-first century, end of life care should not have to rely solely on the goodwill and charity of local people and hinge on how many second-hand clothes and books are sold in hospice shops. We would not accept this dicey approach for maternity care services, we should not accept it for the critically important care provided at the end of people’s lives.

“The Government needs to review the current funding model for end of life care urgently, otherwise more hospices will be forced to cut services and consequently dying people and their families, will be denied the crucial care they desperately need.”

Hospice UK’s call to the Government comes as it prepares to mark Hospice Care Week which runs from 7-13 October. Its theme this year is ‘This Is What It Takes’, as it celebrates the work of tens of thousands of many different staff and volunteers that help provide compassionate care free of charge to dying people and their families.

Notes to editors

  • Hospice UK conducted a UK-wide survey of its members to assess the national picture for hospices on funding. The survey ran from 1-12 April 2019 and received 97 responses, which after data cleansing resulted in 79 responses for analysis – 38 per cent of Hospice UK’s membership.
  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and end of life care. It works to ensure all adults and children living with a terminal or life-shortening illness receive the care and support they need, when they need it. The charity supports more than 200 hospices across the UK, which care for over 200,000 adults and children every year.
  • Earlier research by Hospice UK showed that more than 100,000 people are not able to get the support they need at the end of life across all care settings.
  • For further information about hospice care visit www.hospiceuk.org or follow us on Twitter @hospiceuk

For media enquiries contact:

Suzanne Stevenson on 0207 520 8296 or by email at s.stevenson@hospiceuk.org

Or Toby Scott on 0207 520 8257 or by email at t.scott@hospiceuk.org

For out of hours media enquiries please call 07881 940 318.






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