Hartlepool's Alice House Hospice chief welcomes £25million funding pledge by Boris Johnson
The leader of Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice has welcomed a £25million government funding boost for the sector.
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new cash to provide short term support for charitable hospices in England in recognition of the challenges they are facing.
Alice House Hospice, based in Wells Avenue, has to raise £2.5million of its £3.3million annual budget from community supporters and its chief executive Tracy Woodall says it is a constant struggle to balance the books.
She and the chief of Hospice Care UK, the national charity for hospice care, also say they are also especially pleased that the Mr Johnson and health secretary and Matt Hancock have committed to working to agree more sustainable hospice funding in the future.
Tracy said: “As a hospice which consistently struggles to balance finances against demand on our services this is a welcome first wave of funding and we hope we will receive some of it to ease our pressures.
“Hopefully the Prime Minister will be able to follow through on this promise to ensure more people receive good end of life care which everyone deserves.”
The government says the new investment will help keep many facilities open and will improve the quality of end of life care.
It adds the money will also help ease pressure on staff and introduce new services such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams.
Mr Johnson said: “Seeing a loved one nearing the end of their life is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience, so it’s vital that we support our fantastic and hardworking hospice staff to deliver the highest quality palliative care.”
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK described the funding as an important first step adding: “While this funding boost is welcome and timely, many charitable hospices are facing grave, financial challenges in the long-term and need to raise over £1billion a year in a very tough fundraising climate.
“As demand grows and costs increase, the need for funding rises every year.”