St John’s Hospice in Lancaster found itself in a deficit position three years ago, and the Evening Post’s sister newspaper, the Lancaster Guardian, launched the Save Our Hospice campaign. The adult hospice receives the average of 30 per cent statutory funding from the NHS, which has been frozen for the past few years.
Chief executive Sue McGraw said: “We have had a difficult three years financially and with our government funding being frozen, in real terms that’s a loss every year.
“We’re very pragmatic about that though; the CCG has been very supportive but we have to be sensible; we also have a hospital trust in our area so we don’t expect an uplift in funding every year. In a way, there’s a joy in getting 70 per cent of our funds from the public. It means we have more flexibility on how to spend it, and we can respond immediately to patients’ and families’ needs without all of the red tape.
“It’s a double-edged sword - with more funding from the NHS, we would have to jump through more hoops. You have to be careful what you wish for.
“The joy of community funding is that we’re in control.”