St Peter’s Hospice cuts beds and jobs after lockdown causes £2m funds gap
St Peter’s Hospice has had to cut beds, stop its day services and review staffing because of a funding crisis in the wake of Covid-19.
The pandemic led to cancellation of major fundraising events and the temporary closure of the charity's shops, meaning it has a shortfall of £2 million this year.
It says the next 12 months will be crucial and is appealing to the people of Bristol to dig deep and help it continue its vital work.
Actor and comedian Stephen Merchant was welcomed to the inpatient unit in Brentry in October to announce the year-long ‘When It Matters Most’ fundraising campaign.
He said: “I can’t imagine Bristol without St Peter’s. The difference they have made to my family and the families of tens of thousands of others is immense.
“It is devastating to realise the enormity of the impact that Covid-19 has had, and that critical end of life care is threatened and might not be available in the future.”
All St Peter’s Hospice’s services are provided free and they support around 3,000 patients and their families every year. Despite being a frontline service only 20 per cent of their funding comes from the NHS.
Over £4 million of the hospice’s funding comes through their shops, fundraising events and donations. Although there has been a slow return of the shops and activities, income is down significantly.
The hospice is reviewing all services and expenditure and has already temporarily closed five beds in the inpatient unit and closed their day services (annual running cost £516,139) for the medium term.
Frank Noble, CEO of St Peter’s Hospice, said: “The hospice exists because of the generosity of our supporters and we have never needed you more. Our ability to help those at home, those in need of specialist care and those who need support through bereavement during these extraordinarily difficult times is diminishing as every week goes by. We are now at the point of reviewing staffing across the hospice –something we have never had to do before. After all we have been through it really is heart-breaking.
"Making decisions that impact our services is not easy. Every decision we take is guided by the aim of minimising the impact on patients. The public’s support now is more vital than ever as we move through uncertain times.”
How you can help the hospice
The next twelve months are critical. The hospice exists because of the imagination, generosity and compassion of the people of Bristol and beyond. If you can help now, it will make a huge difference when it matters most.
If you are on social media, please share the hospice’s fundraising activities or give one a go yourself. The hospice team will give you every support to make it happen. If you would like a fundraising guide or to discuss ideas email firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you ride, walk, bake, run, donate or dance, whatever it takes to raise awareness of the hospice - this is when it matters most.
To donate visit www.stpetershospice.org/make-a-donation.