Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has responded to the news that Ashgate Hospicecare has a revealed a £2m funding shortfall and is warning that cuts to jobs and services could be necessary.
The charity issued a press release this week regarding the challenges they face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a longstanding funding shortfall. https://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/people/job-loss-fears-chesterfields-ashgate-hospicecare-it-reveals-ps2million-shortfall-2987896
Toby Perkins said, ““This is an extremely worrying time for Ashgate Hospice, their hardworking staff, and the patients who rely on the excellent end-of-life care they provide. I had a meeting with the Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospicare on Monday morning and I know that they are doing all they can to get through this crisis and protect jobs.
I have contacted Derby & Derbyshire CCG to urge them to provide a new funding package to Ashgate that will not only get them through the immediate crisis, but also provide the funding they need to continue to provide services in the long run. I am aware that there is a longstanding discrepancy between palliative care funding between North and South Derbyshire, and the CCG should prevent patients in the North of the County continuing to be short-changed. I will be asking to meet with the CCG as matter of urgency.
There is also a wider issue affecting the hospice sector, with a recent news report showing that 56 of England’s 169 hospices are at serious financial risk and are contemplating service cuts and redundancies The pandemic has shown the fragility of the end-of-life sector and it is clear that hospices can no longer be expected to rely upon charity retail, coffee mornings or fundraising marathons to prop them up. I have also written a letter to Matt Hancock urging the Government to provide an emergency funding package to hospices to ensure they can get through the second wave of the virus and the winter months and to reflect on whether government’s funding of the hospice sector is sustainable in the longer term.”