The NHS has pledged not to cut £1.5 million from Cynthia Spencer Hospice’s funding until charitable fund-raising can replace it.
NHS Nene made the commitment this morning, after announcing at a press briefing on Wednesday that it was scaling back its funding for the service, along with Cransley Hospice in Kettering.
NHS Nene proposes to structure Cynthia Spencer’s funding more like that of the majority of hospices, with 70 per cent raised through charitable means and 30 per cent given by the NHS. The threat to the hospice’s funding was first reported by the Chron last week.
The news comes as one of the key fund-raisers at Cynthia Spencer Hospice says she is confident the public’s support will help it raise the extra £1.5 million a year it will need to pay its staff.
Sue Bownass, community fund-raiser for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, said: “The fund-raising department is growing, and we know we have a big target ahead of us - but with the support of local people, we will get there.
“When we did the new build at the hospice, £1.5 million was raised purely and simply by the support of local businesses and local people.
“We feel confident the public will get behind us. We are ready for it, and we will do it.
“We are very keen to get supporters’ groups up-and-running, because it will enable us to have ambassadors all over the county setting up individual fund-raising hubs.”
This morning’s announcement follows a meeting yesterday between NHS Nene, the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the trustees of Cynthia Spencer and Cransley hospices, county councillors and activists behind a Facebook campaign.
Dr Darin Seiger, chair of NHS Nene CCG, told the meeting the plan was never to reduce hospice provision in Northamptonshire, which was confirmed in writing to the campaigners after the meeting.
An NHS Nene spokesman said: “We will continue discussions regarding the future strategy for hospice provision. This will include examining the potential to increase the charitable income generated by the hospices, particularly where this is linked to new initiatives.
“There will be no reduction in NHS funding for the hospices until such time as alternative sources of charitable funding are secured.”