More than 6,000 sign petition against Shropshire hospice cuts
More than 6,000 people have now signed a petition opposing £250,000 cuts to funding at the Severn Hospice.
The petition was launched a week ago by Telford & Wrekin Labour group in response to a decision by Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group to cut the hospice's funding by 25 per cent.
Bosses at the hospice have said the decision will “let down the people the CCG is supposed to serve” and the charity will have to close two beds from its in-patient centre at Apley Castle, Telford.
Many messages of support for the hospice have also been shared online by those signing the petition.
Jemma Worrall, of Lawley Bank, wrote: "Spent a lot of time at Severn Hospice when my friend was referred there for his last few months with us.
"The staff were amazing & the hospice deserves better than this!!"
Eileen Davies, of Shrewsbury, also added her name to the petition.
She said: "If end of care life cannot be at the Severn Hospice, where pain is controlled by caring staff, they will go to the local hospitals .
"The hospitals are under staffed at times, dealing with every illness not just dying with dignity.
"The hospices cannot take every patient in but those with extreme pain and end of life care deserve respect and privacy not a busy ward with visiting restrictions.
"A curtained off area in a bustling noisy ward with overworked workers and the hospital viruses is not on. The hospices have an important roll and self fund with shops and volunteers. Think again."
Many others called the services offered by the charity 'vital'.
An online crowdfunding page has also been set up by Julie Ward, who organised the Let's Go Quackers art trail, in the hopes of making up some of the shortfall in funding.
It has so far raised more than £360.
Health campaigners have called the cut in funding an 'attack on the dying' and Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Defend Our NHS says the CCG should have carried out a public consultation.
It comes as health commissioners need to make £10.6m in savings in 2019/20.
David Evans, the CCG's chief officer, said the organisation offers grants to support local voluntary organisations which are reviewed on a yearly basis.
He said the organisation faced challenging financial times and it had to make a difficult decision to stop awarding some grants after March 2019.
The petition is available at bit.ly/2ZfD6su