St Luke's Hospice to make cuts despite government's £25m pledge to help all end of life charities
PUBLISHED: 09:45 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 28 August 2019
A Kenton hospice is under so much pressure it is finding ways to cut costs - despite a government multi-million-pound pledge to help end of life charities.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer UK hospices £25million in funding on August 20, to avert a crisis in end-of-life care.
But while St Luke's Hospice chief Alpana Malde welcomed the government's financial support, she has said it won't make a difference to the long-term financial situation at the charity.
The cost of its specialist in-patient unit, hospice at home care, day care and outpatient services and work to support other healthcare professionals is £5.2m annually.
The hospice aims to reduce costs to £4.8m by the end of this year to ensure its specialist core services can continue.
Ms Malde said: "Given our financial situation, we have no choice but to look at where we can cut costs. We have made some savings by working differently, but we will also have to make cuts in order to protect the future of our specialist care."
She added: "We cannot meet the increasing demand without extra funds.
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"Our local community is amazing and to truly safeguard our future care - we urgently need more support."
Only a third of the costs at the Kenton Road charity are currently met by the NHS with the remainder coming from grants and the "amazing generosity of our local community in Harrow and Brent".
Leela N started visiting the charity's WoodGrange Day Centre patient unit a year ago after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
She said: "I worked for the NHS for 47 years with the last 15 years at Northwick Park Hospital.
"The staff at the Woodgrange Day Centre are so welcoming and so are the volunteers. The two nurses took such great interest in me. The staff are so caring and attentive.
"I have been having the acupuncture for the last year and it really helped my joints.
"I am now on a waiting list for further treatment services. I do miss it.
"Visiting St Luke's Hospice really gives me a lift."
To support St Luke's Hospice visit stlukes-hospice.org/support-us/save-quality-end-of-life-care