Skip to main content

Our local hospice needs fair funding to save its services

Hospiscare, the local hospice for Exeter, central and east Devon, has warned that a disparity in how government hospice funding is awarded and the rising costs of delivering services is threatening its vital care for people facing terminal illnesses.

Despite being rated as “Outstanding” by the national healthcare regulator, as “five-star” by patients and providing care across 1,000 square miles of Devon, Hospiscare receives less than half the statutory funding of hospices nationwide. 

The Devon Integrated Care Board (ICB), the body that allocates government healthcare funding, covers just 18% of the hospice’s running costs, compared to a national average of 37%.

The hospice cares for over 2,200 people each year at a cost of almost £10 million a year. It has to raise 82% of that amount through charitable fundraising every year, but now the hospice is facing a £2.5 million funding gap that will force it to reduce services.  

Explaining the disparity in funding, Hospiscare CEO, Andrew Randall, said:

“Despite looking after thousands of patients over a huge area of Devon, Hospiscare receives one of the lowest percentages of government funding in the country.

“This, coupled with recent rising costs, has had a devastating impact on the hospice’s finances.  Unless the Devon ICB increases our funding in line with other hospice providers, we’ll sadly be forced into reducing our services.” 

Mr Randall added: “We’ve had frank discussions over the last 18 months with the Devon ICB about increasing our funding in line with the national average, but so far they have refused. 

“It doesn’t make sense because if we have to reduce our services, it will put even more pressure on NHS services and our NHS colleagues locally.” 

The hospice has launched a campaign urging its supporters to write to the Chair and CEO of the ICB to ask them to fund Hospiscare at a rate closer to the national average of 37%, so it can continue to provide outstanding care to local patients and families living with terminal illnesses.  

If you can write to the ICB on behalf of Hospiscare, please visit www.hospiscare.co.uk/fair for details.