Background Prior to the pandemic outbreak, Ashgate Hospicecare had been in protracted discussions with the CCG for increased funding for months. We had a £2million budget deficit that was no longer sustainable, and for us to survive, the local health system needed to make a larger financial contribution.
Aims Mobilise community support behind a campaign to persuade the CCG to award Ashgate a funding increase, so that compulsory job cuts during a pandemic could be avoided whilst securing our future.
Methods Case studies of families we had helped were central to the campaign and used across all channels, including via videos on social media. We highlighted the importance of end-of-life care through national media, including a visit to the hospice from Radio 4’s Chris Vallance and on Radio 5 Live, which led to hospice funding being raised in the House of Lords. We urged people to write to their MP and estimate over 100 supporters did so. We also had meetings with North Derbyshire’s MPs, many of whom advocated on our behalf.
Results In November, we were delighted to reveal we had secured an increased funding settlement from the CCG, which meant we would not have to reduce our services or make job cuts. Our communications team worked with them to issue a statement and the news was covered extensively in the media.
Conclusions We believe our campaign could be useful for other hospices facing serious funding challenges. We will continue to campaign for a greater proportion of end-of-life funding from health budgets rather than fundraising, which the past year has shown us can be so precarious.
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