How we are funded
We are a leading hospice in North Derbyshire and the UK. We have been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and are recognised as experts in providing specialist palliative and end of life care not just locally, but nationally.
We are not an NHS hospice. Less than 30% of our total income comes from local NHS health budgets. For the past six years (since 2014) the amount of our income that comes from NHS has stayed the same, even as demand for our specialist end of life care has increased each year.
Ashgate continues to respond to the challenge of Coronavirus – including caring for confirmed and suspected COVID patients in our Inpatient Unit at Old Brampton and in the community. As North Derbyshire’s leaders in providing compassionate, specialist end of life care we believe this is the right thing for us to do.
The hospice was already operating a budget deficit before COVID due to a historic lack of NHS funding increase – meaning that despite huge local support we were having to spend more than it was bringing in. The people of North Derbyshire are now living longer with more complex health conditions due to successful advances in treatment and technology. This has increased the demand for our specialist nursing and medical care.
In the financial year 2019/20, we needed to fundraise over £7 million on top of what we received from NHS budgets – a huge amount of money.
We are deeply grateful for the generosity and support of our wonderful community with income coming from our fundraising, our retail and coffee shops, the Ashgate Lottery and gifts in wills, which are all hugely important to us.
But we also recognise that in the long term the funding gap between what we are spending and what we are bringing in is unsustainable. We are making the case more loudly than we have ever done before that compassionate end of life care needs to be a priority with better and more sustainable funding. We will also be asking our supporters to help make this case for us too.
The challenge of Coronavirus – with our retail and coffee shops and outdoor events being closed for many months – adds further impetus to the already pressing need for change in the funding model for end of life care provided by hospices, such as ours.
Our Urgent Appeal and some Government support has helped us mitigate some of the losses, but it is clear that social distancing, the impact on people’s personal finances and low consumer confidence will have long term consequences for our income.
It seems likely that visitor numbers to our shops will be significantly down for months to come. As we already had a widening funding gap, this is very serious for us. Ashgate estimates that the Coronavirus pandemic is likely to cost the hospice at least £2 million in lost revenue this year and expects its income will continue to suffer in future years.
We will continue to make the case locally and nationally that a bigger proportion of the specialist end of life care we provide in North Derbyshire should come from national health budgets. In line with our values, we will also be more open about where our funding comes from and the challenges this presents. Alongside this, we will continue to innovate and develop new ways of raising more money to provide our expert and compassionate care.
Every £1 donated to Ashgate Hospicecare – whether through direct debit, a cash donation, taking part in the Ashgate Lottery, participating in an event or purchasing items in our shops – makes a huge difference. Thank you for your continued support. We wouldn’t be here without you.
To donate to our Urgent Appeal please click here.
To contact your local MP about hospice funding you can:
- Write to your MP at: House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
- Or find their email address on www.theyworkforyou.com or on parliament.uk.
- Find your MP’s phone number on their website or call the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000 to be put through to them.
If you do contact your MP, please let us know by contacting email@example.com.