Hospices are charitable organisations, most of which formed in the 1970s and 1980s to serve their local population needs. Hospices are not part of the NHS but they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Hospice care is provided in England through charities and the Government. Nationally, about a third of hospice funding comes from the NHS to support the overall costs of health related hospice services. The remainder of their funding comes from donations, fundraising, grants (including lottery grants) and legacies.
St Margaret’s Hospice Care has been at the heart of Somerset’s community for over 39 years, delivering high quality, responsive and compassionate care to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness.
In 2017-18, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group contributed around £2.76million of funding to St Margaret’s Hospice Care which represented approximately 24% of the hospice’s income. This included a £160K capital grant for investment in equipment and care home support with telemedicine.
In 2018-19, we contributed £2.53million of funding to St Margaret’s Hospice Care and we are contributing approximately £2.74million of funding in this financial year (2019-20).
We are proud partners of St Margaret’s Hospice Care. They are one of our most valued partners, providing high quality support to thousands of patients and families each year and at some of the most challenging times in life.
But we also recognise that all healthcare providers need to review their services regularly to ensure they are delivering care in the most appropriate way and using their resources effectively. Across the country, we are seeing more care provided closer to where people live and St Margaret’s Hospice Care proposals are designed to achieve this balance.
Their proposals therefore align very much with our ‘your own bed is the best bed’ principle of our health and care strategy for Somerset, Fit For My Future, as well as the move to support more people in their homes, close to family and community which is a key driver of both our own strategy and the NHS Long Term Plan.
We will continue to work closely with St Margaret’s Hospice Care and recognise that all hospices are operating in a challenging climate.
We have actively engaged with the charity’s Fit for Future strategic review and are confident that this proposed remodelling of its service provision is the result of careful consideration of the changing needs of our community.
We understand how it’s easy to get confused: Fit for My Future is the name for the work we’re doing to transform health and care services across the county. Fit for Future is the review by St Margaret’s Hospice Care of their services for end of life care and support.
We will continue to work with St Margaret’s Hospice Care to explore all possible options with a view to ensuring that they have a sustainable future for many years to come.