Mary has joined with MPs across the House of Commons to call for urgent additional funding for much loved hospices as they battle soaring costs. Mary Kelly Foy & Peter Gibson urge Chancellor to ‘prioritise’ hospices | The Northern Echo
After previously writing to Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt before the Spring Budget to press for much needed cash for hospices such as St Cuthberts in Durham, Mary has continued to fight in the House of Commons to secure new funding.
Hospices face soaring prices for essentials such as energy, staff and food, with the sector facing a deficit of £186 million this year alone.. Hospices are reliant on fundraising with the NHS only funding 58% of the cost of clinical services at St Cuthbert’s. Despite Inflation reaching 11% the North East Integrated Care Board recently uprated St Cuthbert’s contract by just 1.7%. Children’s hospices put at risk by loss of £21m grant | Express.co.uk)
Mary has called for the Government to intervene to ensure no patient is turned away, adding: “The Government can’t bury their heads in the sand on this issue. If they do not provide sustainable funding, hospices may well close and a vital source of care and comfort to people in their final days will be lost.
With inflation comes increased costs. St Cuthbert’s has seen a massive rise in their energy bill – by tens of thousands of pounds. And let’s be clear about something: a care home can’t reduce their energy consumption. It’s really not an option. Medical equipment must be kept on.”
Paul Marriott CEO of St Cuthberts Hospice said: “I am grateful to Mary Kelly Foy for amplifying the serious challenges hospices like St Cuthbert’s are facing at present. The need for our services continues to grow- with demand for our beds outstripping supply.
Rising energy, food and wage costs, are making it an ever more challenging environment in which to provide care. In spite of these challenges, the percentage of patients that report a positive of experience of care using the NHS Friends and Family Test continues to run at 100%.
However, we are increasingly reliant on the community to support us through their volunteering and their fundraising. However, we cannot be complacent about this and we cannot keep on relying upon voluntary donations of money and time to plug the growing gap cause by under-funding by the NHS. I hope the Government will recognise the importance of the service we provide, and properly fund us to ensure we can continue to support those who need us.