A Blackpool hospice boss is worried terminally ill patients may suffer as a result of a recent NHS pay rise which could cost £200,000-a-year.
Charities claim a government decision to only allow non-NHS hospices which employ staff on an Agenda for Change contract to access part of the £800m given to the NHS to fund pay rises.
The Agenda for Change scheme sets-out a strict wage structure with new bands.
Charities Hospice UK, Together for Short Lives and Marie Curie are warning it could have a damaging impact on charitable hospices in England and put vital services at risk.
And they say it will make it harder to recruit andretain staff.
David Houston, chief executive at Trinity Hospice on Low Moor Road in Bispham said: “The Government’s decision puts us at a considerable disadvantage in recruiting and retaining essential staff to deliver our services to terminally ill people in our community, and leaves us with this significant additional cost.
“Recruiting and retaining skilled staff is a critical challenge for us, and in order to remain competitive we will have little choice but to increase pay for clinical staff, which is likely to cost an extra £200,000 each year.
“Without support from the government, this extra cost can only be met by asking our communities to give more than they already so generously do, or by reducing the outstanding services we provide.
“This disappointing decision has come just as we have launched a new strategy to increase our community and hospital staff and services in response to the significant growth in demand we are now experiencing as local people are living longer and with more complex conditions.
“I have today written to our local MPs to ask that they support us in getting this urgent situation addressed.”