Background Increased funding is essential in order to develop and fund sustainable equitable end of life care services. Hospice UK, funded by NHSE, worked with KPMG and hospices to develop nine principles of sustainability, including increasing statutory income, collaborative working and integration (Hospice UK. Future Vision Programme: discovery phase September 2020).
Aim(s) To collaborate with four Kent and Medway hospices to achieve sustainable funding for core and specialist hospice services so that they can continue to deliver EOLC services to their local communities. Enabling hospices to develop innovative enhanced services for the benefit of their patients.
Methods A K&M Hospice Group was formed to gather data from years 2019-2022, which demonstrated cost and activity. The group pursued focussed communication with the CCG leadership team, ensuring ongoing feedback to keep hospice funding as a priority.
Results £1m of additional funding for 2022/3 was achieved for the group and a commitment from the CCG to working to set out a road map for increased, sustainable funding for 23/24 onwards. This enabled each hospice to better manage increased cost pressures during 2022/23 reducing any draw downs on their reserves.
Conclusions Collaboration was key to this project, with all hospices speaking with one expert voice. Building strong relationships with senior CCG leaders was crucial and resilience was needed during periods of disengagement. Working together we were able to pool evidence with data demonstrating the value of hospice services, the wide range of services offered and the impact of these services on reducing inappropriate acute hospital admissions.
How innovative or of interest is the abstract?Sustainable funding has been identified as a key priority for hospices, and COVID-19 highlighted the risks associated with funding essential services via a voluntary model. Despite this, many hospices have reported difficulties in getting commissioners to engage in meaningful discussion. It is hoped this project will provide a template for other hospices to replicate the successful collaboration that was achieved in Kent & Medway.
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