Hospice beds under threat

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HARTLEPOOL and District Hospice could be forced to get rid of vital beds and axe jobs in a bid to stave off financial meltdown.

Five staff were axed 12 months ago and the cash-strapped hospice faced a race against time to find funds to meet its £2.5m-a-year running costs.

Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall

Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall

But as the cash-crisis continues, hospice chiefs revealed it was looking at ways of saving more money – with job losses and the removal of beds which cater for patients with terminal illnesses also under threat.

There are currently 10 beds within the hospice, but that figure could drop as management exploring the possibility of supporting people in their homes.

Tracy Woodall, chief executive at the Wells Avenue-based facility, confirmed that “all aspects of the business” were under review and the 80-strong team of staff were being kept informed of developments.

She stressed that patient welfare was always the main concern, and said any decision to axe beds would be “a last resort”.