Job loss fears at Chesterfield's Ashgate Hospicecare as it reveals £2million shortfall

Chesterfield’s Ashgate Hospicecare has revealed a £2m funding shortfall amid the Covid-19 pandemic and warned job cuts could be necessary.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 11:11 am

The much-loved hospice was already operating a budget deficit before the pandemic – meaning that despite huge local support it was having to spend more than it was bringing in – and has seen its funds hit hard by the lockdown.

While bosses say the hospice’s recent Urgent Appeal was a great success, the charity continues to face long-term and serious funding challenges.

Ashgate estimates that the pandemic is likely to cost the hospice at least £2million in lost revenue and expects its income will continue to suffer in future years.

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Ashgate Hospicecare is facing a £2million shortfall after events like the annual Sparkle Night Walk were cancelled.

Chief executive Barbara-Anne Walker said: “Heading into winter during a national pandemic the last thing I want to do as chief executive of Ashgate is seek voluntary redundancies.

"But we are faced with very little choice. The CCG have said they may be able to provide us with a limited amount of funds for the current year only, but this does not allow for further risk to fundraising and our retail shops this year nor does it, in any way, tackle the underlying imbalance in our costs of patient care and statutory funding.

“We urgently need to know what funding we will receive for the next year, commencing April 2021, without which we have to make plans now based on what we do know.

“The worrying reality is that at a time of pandemic - when the compassionate end of life care we provide could hardly be more important - our funding has never been more precarious."