Ipswich hospice given £723k to help cope with ‘increasing deficit’
PUBLISHED: 11:35 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 20 May 2020
Ipswich’s St Elizabeth Hospice is to get more NHS funding to cope with an “increasing financial deficit” - including an extra £723,000 this year to help pay for care at the end of people’s lives.
The facility, in Foxhall Road, provides palliative care for those with progressive and terminal illnesses.
However, its specialist services cost £10.5million a year to run - at a time when funding from the Ipswich and East Suffolk NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been falling year-on-year since 2016.
Papers produced for the CCG’s board meeting this week revealed “an increasing financial deficit to the CCG, which was £1,895,929 in 2018/19”.
It said the deficit was “mainly due to a reduction in legacy income - although there are other factors”. The current coronavirus crisis is also likely to dent its income from fundraising, with its charity shops closed.
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The meeting papers added: “The hospice has reached a point where it can no longer sustain this deficit without intervention.”
As such, the CCG has agreed to make an additional £723,000 investment for the 2019/20 financial year, on top of its annual contribution of £1.4million.
It has also agreed a new four-year grant settlement, which will see funding rise to £2.1m within four years, to give the hospice greater financial certainty for the years ahead,
A spokesman for the hospice said: “The CCG recognises the value of our work and the proposal put to the CCG will increase funding gradually to the national benchmark level by the end of the period.
“This will strengthen our ability to continue providing specialist palliative and end of life care to our community, at a time when we are expecting an increase in demand on our services.
“We work closely with the CCG and we welcome their commitment to our work and contribution to supporting those affected by life-limiting illness.
“Even when funded at national benchmarked levels of statutory funding, the hospice will still need to generate 70% of funds through income generation activities which include fundraising, retail, lottery and legacies and therefore our community fundraising efforts will continue.”
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