The cost of living crisis could have a devastating impact on hospices in the UK, and the people that they care for.
Hospice UK is calling for immediate action from the UK Government to ensure that hospices can continue to deliver vital services to those in need.
Cost of living: the problem
Hospices are facing soaring costs. Some are facing up to a five-fold increase in energy costs, while fuel, food and the cost of paying a fair wage to their brilliant staff are all increasing. Nearly all hospices (96%) are budgeting for a deficit in 2023/4. We estimate they are budgeting for a deficit of £186 million.
Until now, much like people at home, hospices have been protected by an price cap that has helped offset the soaring cost of energy. But after March, most of this support will disappear. Hospices will only receive a modest discount on energy costs - the same discount as a pub, restaurant or shop - leaving them vulnerable to market prices. Many hospices are now considering whether to cut services in order to reduce costs.
Hospices need urgent support to ensure they can deliver high-quality care for people at the end of life – without worrying about how to keep the lights on or keep vital machines running.
How you can help
Hospice UK is asking the UK Government to protect hospices. We must make sure hospices do not face the additional burden of worrying about the rising cost of energy whilst providing vital care for dying people.
Hospice care is largely not funded by the state.
On average, as much as two thirds of an adult’s hospice income and 80% of a children’s hospice income is raised through fundraising from the public through events such as bake sales and marathons.
The importance of protecting our hospices
Hospices are a critical partner to the health system and provide essential public services at such an important moment for families.
Without more government support, every penny of increased costs will need to be fundraised from local communities, at a time when people are facing rising costs in their own lives.
Rising costs will severely impact hospices’ ability to provide vital services, with a knock-on effect on the already over-stretched NHS.
The way hospices are funded would be unacceptable in any other area of our healthcare. If maternity services relied on second hand jean sales to fund care, there would rightfully be uproar. Yet to care for dying people, hospices must rely on increasingly fragile sources of income at a time when their costs are ballooning.