Scarborough and Whitby MP joins debate over cost of living crisis and its impact on hospices

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill has lent his support to Saint Catherine’s following a parliamentary debate on hospices and the cost of living crisis.

The issue was raised in Westminster following pressure from Hospice UK, the national charity that speaks out on behalf of hospices and champions end-of-life care.

Hospice UK is campaigning for better financial support for hospices in the face of spiralling energy bills, general cost pressures and a drop in donations as members of the public face their own financial worries.

Issues highlighted by Hospice UK and in the debate include:

  • Under the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme, hospices will be eligible for the same level of reduced support as a pub or restaurant and even less support than a zoo or museum.
  • NHS services will have their energy bills paid for by the Government but hospices will be expected to raise money to pay their bills.
  • On average only a third of adult hospice’s income comes from the Government. Two thirds of it comes through fundraising activity.

Sir Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said: “I attended a recent all-party event on this issue and heard first-hand from hospice representatives.

“Hospices have obviously been hit by the cost of living crisis and by the pandemic, as some fundraising events will not have taken place, meaning that hospices have been squeezed from both sides.

“What a lot of people don’t realise is that hospices do as much work outside the hospice as they do inside. They also help people directly at home and are very much part of our community.

“I hope that fundraising will now start to bounce back, but we still have the cost of heating to consider, as hospices can’t just turn the heating down.”

Ray Baird, Saint Catherine’s chief executive, said: “We are grateful to Sir Robert for his comments in support of Saint Catherine’s and the wider hospice movement. Hospices are feeling the pressure at the moment, as are other charities, businesses and individuals in our community and beyond. However, we remain determined to provide the most outstanding care for our patients and their loved ones and will continue to fight for a better deal for hospices, along with support from Sir Robert and Hospice UK.”

Katie Reade, policy and advocacy manager at Hospice UK, said: “Hospices care for some of the most vulnerable people in society but many are struggling to pay the rising costs of energy, food and staff and worry about the future of their services.

“The Spring Statement must include financial support for hospices, to safeguard the vital role they play in supporting patients, families and the wider health and care system.”