Shropshire hospice bosses welcome emergency funding
Hospice bosses in Shropshire have welcomed the Government's announcement of an emergency funding package in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor has announced quarterly funding of £200 million to enable hospices to care for patients who would otherwise be in NHS hospitals.
Severn Hospice, which has hospices in Telford and Shrewsbury, has already been providing support by using any spare capacity on its wards for non-coronavirus hospital patients who are nearing the end of their life because of an underlying health condition.
It is part of the regional, co-ordinated approach to the pandemic.
The hospice's chief executive, Heather Tudor, said: "The Chancellor's announcement is very welcome as we, like all charities, have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.
"The work we are doing with our NHS partners locally means that we will certainly benefit from this short-term government funding but we also know that it will not replace all of the charitable funding that we are currently unable to raise ourselves, nor would we expect it to.
"We remain as grateful as ever to our loyal and generous supporters for their continued commitment to Severn Hospice."
The chief executive of Hope House children’s hospices, which covers Shropshire, Cheshire, Mid and North Wales with Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith, says he is "greatly relieved" by the announcement.
Andy Goldsmith said he was hugely grateful to the minister and the UK Government for its timely and significant financial support.
“As a charity that relies on fundraising to pay the doctors, nurses, carers and the team that support them, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been significant and, like most businesses across the UK, we have seen our income fall significantly in recent days," he said.
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“We have taken steps to reduce our costs and furloughed many staff, releasing them to volunteer to help the national effort, but as this pandemic accelerates hospices have an increasingly important role to play in providing critical and end of life care.
“This funding will ensure we can stay open and our dedicated health care staff will be at work providing care and comfort to seriously ill children and their families.”
To protect children and families, Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith have already appealed to people not to visit either hospice, and arranged for as many essential staff as possible to work from home.
Crisis nursing and end of life care is being provided in the hospices, while community teams are providing telephone support to other families.
Director of care Karen Wright said: “We are planning for the worst and working for the best.
"We are as committed as ever and will do everything in our power to take care of one another.”
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