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Inside one hospice as struggling sector faces turning the dying away

Hospices will be forced to turn dying patients away because they are struggling with steeply rising costs at a time when the NHS is not increasing funding.

Hospices look after 300,000 patients and families every year across the UK. It costs about £1.5 billion a year for them to provide this care, with only a third of that coming from the NHS. The rest relies on charitable donations and fundraising in local communities as well as sales in charity shops.

As hospices battle to keep going, the Treasury has rejected pleas for a £30 million rescue package this year.

The money, those in the sector say, would prevent some from having to close inpatient units and beds or reduce their hospice-at-home teams, which care for patients in the community. Some are already making staff redundant and getting rid of beds.

Toby Porter, chief executive of Hospice UK, said the government was making “a huge avoidable mistake”, adding: “People will have a lesser experience at an incredibly important moment and it will lead to system pressures affecting the whole health system.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 26 March 2023


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