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Joint statement from Linda McEnhill, Chief Executive, Ardgowan Hospice and Keith McKellar, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ardgowan Hospice

Joint statement from Linda McEnhill, Chief Executive, Ardgowan Hospice and Keith McKellar, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ardgowan Hospice

Ardgowan Hospice – like most hospices in the UK – is facing financial challenges that need to be addressed to ensure we can continue to deliver quality compassionate care for years to come.

There are a number of factors that have been coming to a head. The steadily increasing costs of meeting statutory and regulatory demands, rising utility bills, rising employer contributions to pensions and increased overheads in almost every other area of activity mean we have to increase income or reduce costs.

Despite all our best efforts to drive up income, the worsening High Street retail slump is making charity shop trading extremely challenging right across the UK and the trend for legacy income to decline (due in part to the rising care home costs) is impacting on income stability.

And while two thirds of hospices in the UK are reporting financial deficits, and some have even been forced to close, we at Ardgowan are taking positive action to ensure we have an operating model that can live within its means and build for the future.

The Hospice management team and Trustees have already been working hard to deliver cost savings over the past year by cutting the senior management team in half (7 posts down to three full-time and one part-time); and the non-replacement of other posts to reduce annual operating costs by £160,000.

We now need to deliver a further £200,000 of annual running cost savings to put us back on a sound and secure footing and regrettably this means potentially reducing our current core workforce from 98 to 83.

Seven of those jobs are likely to be from our retail operation and in particular from the Greenock furniture store after having taken the difficult decision to close this outlet. Despite all the efforts of our shop team, the generous support of donors and the support of customers, the furniture outlet has struggled to make any profit and with increasing overheads and the imminent end to a rent-free period, it is at real risk of plunging into deficit.

By re-shaping our clinical care model and redesigning our administration and support services we will achieve the rest of the savings we need to make and – crucially – will maintain our capability to care for more than 1,000 Inverclyde patients every year through inpatient, outpatient and locally based community support.

Re-designing the patient care model is essential to meet the growing demands and needs of our community. To do this we have to change some clinical roles, or unfortunately, remove some with some new posts created to deliver more care closer to the home for patients and their families.

Chairman Keith McKellar: “Ardgowan Hospice is blessed with fantastic support from the Inverclyde community. Our volunteers are quite simply amazing and the business support locally is magnificent.

“The tough decisions we have already taken and the ones we now have to make will enhance the reputation and opportunity for the hospice in the long-term. I want to thank everyone who supports and makes the wonderful work of Ardgowan Hospice possible. Your support has never been more critical to ensuring we continue to deliver the excellent care that only Ardgowan can deliver to the people of Inverclyde.

“To everyone who supports us I want to thank you and assure you that it is our commitment to make sure that every pound contributed from legacies, gifts, fundraising events and retail income is spent to maximum effectiveness for our patients.

“Ardgowan has been serving the people of Inverclyde for 36 years… the measures we taking today will ensure that, with your continued support, Ardgowan will be here for the next 36 years.”

Ardgowan Hospice CEO Linda McEnhill

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Executive Linda McEnhill: “For nine out of the last 10 years the hospice has had to rely on reserves to cover full-year running costs. Our reserves are running low and we continue to see a reduction in fundraising income and a steady increase in costs in all areas of the organisation.

“The growing gap between income and expenditure needs to be addressed without delay if we are to continue to provide patient care for the people of Inverclyde in the future.

“Additionally, some of our services have to adapt to meet new patient need and to align with changed community service provision. For example, we know from consultations undertaken by the hospice team that many patients would prefer to have care delivered more locally to their home where possible and reduce the need to travel to Greenock for care and treatment. Indeed, all the Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership services are pushing towards enabling more people to die in their own homes.

“Our eight inpatient beds will remain at Ardgowan but we will enhance our outreach services to deliver more local support, treatment and care to those in need with a different skill mix of hospice care staff.

“We are very fortunate to have the level of financial support we get from Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership – many other hospices elsewhere in Scotland don’t enjoy the level of support we do. We are also very fortunate to have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce supported by a brilliant network of fantastic volunteers.

“The efficiencies we have already delivered and the actions we are taking now will result in a positive future for Ardgowan Hospice for years to come.”

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