‘Funding is a constant worry’

The first phase of upgrading and renovation at Trinity Hospice was unveiled today, with new areas, rooms and family areas.'Exterior of Brian House.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-3-2014
The first phase of upgrading and renovation at Trinity Hospice was unveiled today, with new areas, rooms and family areas.'Exterior of Brian House. PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-3-2014
  • Trinity Hospice and Brian House bosses have revealed they are not “immune” to funding worries
  • It comes as Hospice UK reveals that more than 60 per cent of hospices have seen their statutory funding frozen or slashed
  • This is in the face of more and more families on the Fylde coast needing their support and care
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Bosses of the Fylde coast’s vital children and adults hospices have revealed they are vulnerable to funding cuts.

It comes as two national charities announced that more than 60 per cent of hospices report that their statutory funding was frozen or slashed in 2014/15.

This, said Hospice UK and Together For Short Lives, was largely down to financial restrictions on NHS commissioners

Now Trinity Hospice and Brian House children’s hospice have revealed that they too struggle.

And this is happening in the face of more and more people needing to use services and in spite of a major local fund-raising drives for the Bispham-based hospice.

Chief executive David Houston said: “Funding is a constant worry for hospices and we are not immune from such concerns locally.

“Only three years ago, we undertook a major restructuring to turn around a £1.3m deficit, as income had not kept pace with increasing costs associated with the growing demand for hospice care.

“Having got back into a surplus, we have now set a deficit budget in this our 30th anniversary year, as we must support more families and push our fund-raising efforts even harder.”

In the current financial year the hospice will receive 38 per cent of its money from statutory funding, and Brian House has only 16 per cent of its £1.2m annual running costs provided.

Mr Houston said: “Unpredictability around finances poses enormous challenges and the Hospice UK report has been extremely useful in highlighting that.

“There are many people who assume that hospices are part of the NHS, and paid for in the same way, but we are a charity and it is the generosity of supporters which makes up the financial shortfall.”

The hospice last year unveiled its £500,000 refurbishment – £286,000 of which was raised by The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes appeal.

But it is not all bad news for the hospice.

It has recently been able to establish a Hospice At Home service pilot thanks to funding from its two supporting CCGs, supporting an extra 60 to 70 patients each month to be cared for at home, promoting choice for patients and reducing hospital admissions.