Write to your MP: Call for more hospice funding

On Monday 15th April 2024, the Backbench Business Debate will be taking place on hospice funding in parliament. This debate presents an opportunity to platform the vital work that hospices do, the key funding challenges that we face and to advocate for more sustainable funding for our services.

Our CEO, Simon James, has sent a letter to our local MPs (Nickie Aiken MP, Karen Buck MP, Dawn Butler MP, Barry Gardiner MP, Tulip Siddiq MP, Andy Slaughter MP) asking them to attend the upcoming debate and to advocate for St John’s Hospice.

Today, we are asking you to contact your MP and encourage them to attend and participate in the debate. The easiest way to find your MP and how to contact them is by visiting members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP.

Below you will find the letter our CEO sent:

Dear X

I am writing to highlight the Backbench Business Debate taking place on Monday 15th April on hospice funding and ask that you attend to advocate for St John’s Hospice.

Hospices provide care and support to 300,000 people every year and are an integral part of our health and social care system. However, the current state of hospice funding means that many of us are struggling to keep up with inflation and rising costs.

At St John’s Hospice in 2023 we cared for over 4,200 patients, family members and carers across North West and North Central London. This includes Brent, Camden, Islington, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

In 2023, 235 patients benefitted from our inpatient care over 3,651 bed nights, 1,564 visits were made to our Day Centre, over 2,000 journeys were made using our ambulance service, over 1,600 home visits were made by our Community Specialist Palliative Care team and over 21,193 hours of specialist Hospice@Home hours were provided. Alongside this, 434 patients and their children were given practical and emotional support by our social workers and 645 patients were able to access specialist Lymphoedema care.

Peter Gibson MP, one of the Co-Chairs of the APPG on Hospice and End of Life Care, has secured a main chamber Backbench Business Committee debate in parliament on hospice funding, which will be held on Monday 15th April. 

This debate presents a chance to platform some of the key funding challenges facing hospices across the UK and advocate for more sustainable funding of our services.

Currently, we receive approximately 40% of our funding through the NHS and rely on voluntary income for the additional funds needed to cover our services. To add to the already high pressure on services and the funds needed, at the end of 2023 Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead announced a temporary closure of their building, and it remains closed as of April 2024, adding significantly to the patient numbers and services we are being asked to provide. Voluntary income cannot cover the growing gap between the care and service levels needed to ensure all patients needing specialist palliative care can receive it.

It should be the right of every person in London and indeed the UK to be able to access the care they need for themselves and their families and not be left to struggle during the hardest journey of all.

As our local MP, I am writing to ask if you would consider attending this debate to share the experiences of St John’s Hospice and advocate for more sustainable funding for hospices now and in the future.

Hospice UK have provided a briefing on the national funding for hospices, which can be accessed through their website.

I would be very grateful if you could spare some time to attend this debate and support us in raising awareness of this very important issue.  

Thank you for your continued support. Should you wish to come in and visit the hospice in action and meet our staff we would be happy to arrange it.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Simon James

Chief Executive, St John’s Hospice

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