Act today to save our priceless hospices, Ministers – The Yorkshire Post says

Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds is part of the Sue Ryder momvement.Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds is part of the Sue Ryder momvement.
Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds is part of the Sue Ryder momvement. | Johnston Press Resell
THERE was already a compelling case – long before the coronavirus crisis – for the Government extending its support to the hospice movement.
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The inspirational charities that provide such dignified care and comfort to the dying, receive just 30 per cent of funds from the Department of Health and Social Care – the remainder comes from the public’s enduring generosity.

Yet, as the Covid-19 leads to charity shops being shut and fundraising events cancelled, the sector’s ability to treat the terminally ill, and help relatives, is now compromised by this unfolding financial crisis.

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The Sue Ryder hospice movement has made an emergency appeal for funding.The Sue Ryder hospice movement has made an emergency appeal for funding.
The Sue Ryder hospice movement has made an emergency appeal for funding. | Johnston Press Resell

And as the renowned Sue Ryder charity, which runs the much-loved Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds, warns that it is on the brink of closure, and the country “will lose its hospices” without emergency funding, The Yorkshire Post today makes a direct appeal to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Provide the hospices with the funding that they need, just as you have supported other parts of the economy, to spare cancer patients, and others with terminal illnesses, unnecessary heartache about their care in the twilight of their lives.

If not, perhaps the two Ministers can explain how they expect families to cope if, as the Sue Ryder charity suggests, a £12m funding shortfall means that it has to close its hospices and stop its community care.

Frankly, it should not be coming to this – a compassionate government would already have acceded to recently submitted funding requests – but this newspaper is willing, just for now, to give Ministers the benefit of the doubt because of their workload until they do have a chance to respond fully.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak.Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak. | 2020 Getty Images

Yes, the public will continue to be supportive but such benevolence cannot be counted upon at a time of hardship, hence why the Government must act without equivocation if it is to avoid accusations of betraying the dying.

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James Mitchinson