Rowcroft faces challenges amid UK hospice funding crisis

Hospice UK warns of £77m deficit in hospice funding

Responding to new figures released by Hospice UK that warned of a national £77m deficit in hospice funding, Rowcroft Hospice has signalled that the financial challenges facing hospices are immense. With around 96% of UK hospices budgeting for a deficit and warning of bed closures and staff cuts due to escalating costs and decreased funding, Rowcroft has indicated that we have no plans at present to cut our services although we do acknowledge the tough financial climate.

Of the £10 million required annually to fund Rowcroft’s vital services for patients with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon, we receive only 24% of our income from the NHS. The remainder is generated from the local community through a variety of ways including donations, gifts in wills, fundraising events, the Rowcroft Lottery, and through the hospice’s shops and cafes across South Devon. We are also investing in long-term income streams to secure a sustainable future for the hospice.

Rowcroft collection tin

‘The cost of giving’ crisis

“The hospice delivers a crucial free service to our South Devon community, caring for 2,500 vulnerable people annually through the hardest times imaginable at the end of life,” said Rowcroft’s CEO Mark Hawkins. “But this of course requires funding and we’re aware that times are particularly tough for everyone right now as people struggle to pay essential bills. As a charity, we’re experiencing a ‘cost of giving’ crisis, as people understandably tighten their belts in response to the rising prices, and we’re having to work harder than ever to secure donations. At the same time, we’re noticing an increasing demand for our care that is putting pressure on our services.

“We’re mitigating the financial challenges through prudent financial management and a diverse mix of carefully managed investments that will pave the way for a sustainable future for the hospice. And we remain forever grateful for the generous support that we receive from our local community that is fundamental to keeping our care going.”

A challenging financial climate

The hospice recognises that the financial climate is particularly challenging at this point in time, with spiralling inflation leading to rising costs, particularly increased staffing and utility bills. This is exacerbated by a drop in retail and fundraising income due to a reduction in charitable donations in response to the cost of living crisis.

“While a fifth of UK hospices are cutting back on services due to the financial challenges, we’re determined not to follow suit,” added Mark Hawkins. “We’re doing everything possible to offset the pressures by exploring new and innovative ways to generate long-term income.”

Hospices are an integral part of our health system in delivering essential end-of-life care provision to around 300,000 people a year nationally. However, according to data from Hospice UK, England’s adult hospices have faced a real-terms cut in their government funding of £47m in the past two years, and UK hospices are on track to spend almost £200m more on delivering their care than they will receive in income.

The support of our community is vital

Rowcroft is asking for regular donations to help us continue to deliver specialist end-of-life care services to patients with complex needs across South Devon.

“Giving a regular monthly gift is a wonderful way to support Rowcroft’s work because your donation provides a reliable income stream that helps us to plan for the future,” added Mark Hawkins. “And most importantly, your regular gift will ensure we can continue to make every moment count for people with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon.”

If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here.

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