Following an article and a letter in the local papers, it has become painfully clear that there is an alarming misunderstanding about the higher salaries paid by Cornwall Hospice Care and it is vital that I address this so our charity, and the patients we care for, don’t suffer. 

Unlike some other hospice charities, we employ our own senior medical staff.  They include eight Doctors, four of whom are Consultants. We do this so we can ensure they are available to our patients when they need them, 24 hours a day. It means we are not reliant on support from Consultants based at hospitals where there are many other demands on their time. The priority for our medical staff is always those who need our specialist care, both at our hospices, in the community and ironically in Cornwall’s hospitals.

Consultants and Doctors are by the very nature of their qualifications, at the peak of their medical careers and vital to the well-being of our patients who rely on the specialist care we provide. The charity has therefore, to meet the competitive, and understandably significant pay scales for Doctors to secure the best people.  It means that currently, all but one of the salaries above £60,000 are paid to medical staff.   Our Chief Executive is responsible for a large complement of professional and highly skilled staff delivering the highest standards of clinical care and in addition running a substantial business to fund this care. The remuneration for this role is appropriate to the size of the job.

I must emphasise therefore, that in the main, the higher salaries paid by our charity are to our front line people, the Consultants and Doctors who treat those who need our very specialist care. I’m sure no-one would disagree that to ensure the best quality of care for people in Cornwall with life limiting illnesses we must employ the best medical practitioners.

I hope this makes our situation clear to the few people who have sadly misunderstood why our wage bill appears high.