Hospices across the country are continuing to provide palliative and respite care for the most vulnerable people in our communities, many of whom are reaching the end of their lives.
Hospice staff now have the additional responsibility of having to protect these vulnerable patients from catching the coronavirus. This requires them to take additional precautions and use more protective equipment.
Despite this extra burden, hospices have seen their incomes slashed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Bolton Hospice alone will miss-out on £500,000 over the next three months.
Because of this, I have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, and asked the Government to support Bolton hospice, and hospices across the UK, to continue their vital work. You can find the message below.
If you want to donate to Bolton Hospice or organise a fundraiser for them, then please go here.
I am contacting you regarding the plight of hospices during the coronavirus crisis, in particular Bolton hospice.
As you know, hospices play an important role in healthcare provision in the UK. They provide holistic care for people reaching the end of their lives with the aim of meeting their medical, emotional, social, practical, psychological, and spiritual needs, and the needs of the person’s family and carers. Hospices also provide respite care for families who need a break from caring for their relatives.
During the coronavirus crisis, hospices are continuing to care for the most vulnerable in our communities, but now with the additional responsibility of safeguarding them from catching the coronavirus.
Like any health workers at the forefront of the battle with the coronavirus, hospice staff are required to take extra precautions and use additional protective equipment.
Despite this increased workload, hospices have been dealt a significant cut to their income. The hospice shops are all closed and many of the fundraising events that the hospice holds every year, such as the Midnight Walk, have been cancelled.
Alice Atkinson, director of income generation and communications at Bolton Hospice, said: “Sadly, our current estimate is that we anticipate losing around £500,000 of income over a three-month period, due to cancelled fundraising events and the closure of our charity shops and café.”
This is a situation that all hospices across the country have found themselves in, needing to continue their vital work with a lot less funding.
There have been some great fundraising efforts to help Bolton hospice, including ‘Quiz on the Couch with Jenny Ryan’, which raised almost £10,000. But these opportunities are limited by the lockdown and cannot replace the hundreds of thousands of pounds that Bolton hospice would have generated normally.
Therefore, I am asking the Government to take action to support Bolton hospice, and hospices across the UK, to ensure that they can continue to provide care, dignity and respect for people who are ill, many of whom are reaching the end of their lives.
Member of Parliament for Bolton South East and Shadow Minister for International Development