Hospice forced to issue cuts of expert nurses’ team due to severe funding crisis.
The free care home support service team, which received no NHS funding, has been cut - meaning that the hospice now receives less additional help.
Further planning for other cuts is still being discussed, but it is believed that not many other staff members will be affected.
Alpana Malde, the chief executive of St Luke’s Hospice, said: “To protect our future ability to provide high quality end of life care, we have had no choice but to cut staff to reduce our costs.
“We’re looking at efficiency, there’s distinctions between cuts and savings. When people see savings, they think cuts, but the thing is requesting a balance in our core services. We have no plans to stop doing anything as we don’t want people to suffer or receive a lower quality care.”
She added: “This is a very painful time for all involved. The award-winning work of the care home support service is highly recognised. This is a huge loss to the local community.”
St Luke’s Hospice have previously warned that despite the government pledging UK hospices £25 million to avert a funding ‘crisis’, a long-term plan needs to be made.
Ms Malde has confirmed that they still intend to reach their previously announced plans to reduce annual costs of their in-patient unit, day care and outpatient services from £.52 million to £4.8 million by the end of 2019.
The hospice currently cares for over 1,600 people in Harrow and Brent every year, with two thirds of the care provided in people’s homes.
Since the charity has 180 staff employed and the support of 850 volunteers, Ms Malde has suggested that the quality of care will not be affected by any further cuts imposed.