GPs at north Derbyshire surgery pledge to help Chesterfield's Ashgate Hospice

Doctors at a north Derbyshire surgery have launched a year-long fundraising drive for cash-strapped Ashgate Hospice.
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GPs at the Staffa Health practice in Stonebroom say it was ‘an easy decision to support the much-loved Chesterfield hospice, which is facing an uncertain future after missing out on at least £2.4 million because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fundraising will begin with a Christmas prize draw, followed in the new year by a cycling challenge from Ashgate to Chapel-en-le-Frith and a team entering the Chesterfield 10K race.

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Ruth Cooper, GP at Staffa Health, said: “The decision to fundraise for Ashgate Hospicecare was an easy one.

The team at Staffa Health have pledged to help Ashgate Hospice.The team at Staffa Health have pledged to help Ashgate Hospice.
The team at Staffa Health have pledged to help Ashgate Hospice.

"I have been a GP in North Derbyshire for 28 years and I have seen first-hand just how much Ashgate has grown to become an integral part of the healthcare system.

“The team at Ashgate work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals such as GPs, to ensure that patients and their families receive the very best end-of-life care.

"They have supported me, and the team I work with, to ensure that a patient's wishes are respected at the end of their life.”

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Ashgate is currently awaiting a decision from NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about whether they will commit to the additional funding needed to secure the hospice’s existing services.

If the charity does not receive the additional funding from the CCG for the next financial year, then it will be forced to make compulsory redundancies and reduce services.

“It would be detrimental to the community in North Derbyshire if Ashgate were forced to reduce or withdraw their services,” said Ruth.

“Not only would it be a huge blow to the thousands of families who use the services, but the hundreds of healthcare professionals who rely on their expertise.

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“One thing is certain, I can’t imagine being a GP without the support the Ashgate team offer, particularly during these exceptional times when their skills are needed more than ever.”

Barbara-Anne Walker, hospice chief executive, said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the support of everyone at Staffa Health.

“It is sad that end-of-life care depends on fundraised income and that the costs are not covered by local health budgets,” she said.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.