Despite challenging economic times Cornwall Hospice Care leaders have committed to opening more beds at their two hospices. Four more have already opened meaning there are now 9 at the charity’s Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell and 9 at St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle, that’s 18 in total for Cornwall with more planned to open later this year.
Gina Starnes is the Director of Clinical Services at the charity; “In my 30 year nursing career I’ve seen at first hand the difference that hospices make, giving patients and their families the peace, dignity and specialised care they need. As the only adult hospice charity in Cornwall we know there are many more families who would benefit from our care so we’ve been investing in our staff and facilities so we can open more beds.”
However, such plans come at a cost and at a time when the Cornish charity has, like many other organisations, felt the challenges of the current economic climate. David Renwick is the Chair of Cornwall Hospice Care; “We can only open more beds with the support of the public. I’m appealing to everyone in Cornwall to help us as we strive to open more beds and to develop our community services so we can support more people with terminal illnesses and much earlier in their diagnosis. I’d also like to thank our many loyal supporters for their continuing help, it’s vital and much appreciated.”
The charity has launched an appeal to help fund the increased nursing costs to support the extra beds as Oli Hoare, Head of Fundraising, explains; “As a 24/7 charity our nurses are key to the care we deliver and are a very special team. To help us continue their vital work supporting patients facing terminal illnesses, we’re asking people to help fund the nursing care. £20 will pay for an hour of that care and we hope people will help us achieve our desire to have 20 beds open by the end of the year.”
As the charity prepares to mark the 40th anniversary in 2020 of providing adult hospice care to the people of Cornwall, it’s launched its latest Impact Report that details what the charity has achieved in the last year and what its plans are for this financial year. Paul Brinsley is the Chief Executive; “Despite the tough fundraising climate in Cornwall and beyond, we’re determined to develop our services to meet the growing demand for the care we provide. We’re always appreciative of the support people give us, but now we need an extra boost to meet the demands and we’re challenging those who oversee our care services to help us make a difference.
Recently I met with the Minister of State for Care to lobby for better support for hospices. I particularly addressed the rising costs of regulation, an added burden for small healthcare providers like us who don’t have access to the resources of an acute NHS Trust. I welcome the news from Boris Johnson about more funding being available for hospices. We are working hard to ensure that Cornwall benefits from this so we can hopefully increase the NHS contribution towards our care from our current 19.1%, closer to the 32% average for England.”