Hospice could cut jobs as coronavirus hits income

St Elizabeth Hospice's main site in Foxhall Road, Ipswich. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

St Elizabeth Hospice's main site in Foxhall Road, Ipswich. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE - Credit: Archant

Ipswich’s St Elizabeth Hospice has proposed a number of redundancies at its head office as the impact of the Covid-19 continues to be felt by Suffolk charities.

The hospice, in Foxhall Road, provides valuable care for people living with progressive and terminal illnesses.

It said earlier this year that it had faced financial shortfalls from long-term reductions in funding and legacy income, with the Ipswich and East Suffolk NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) giving the charity an additional £723,000 on top of its £1.4million contribution.

MORE: Ipswich hospice given £723k to help cope with ‘increasing deficit’

However, the hospice has now confirmed it is looking at making redundancies from its head office.

It was unable to confirm the precise number of jobs at risk, but said it was having to restructure due to the impact of coronavirus.

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The pandemic forced the charity to close many of its shops, which bring in a significant amount of income. The crisis also halted many of its fundraising activities.

A spokesman for St Elizabeth Hospice said: “These unprecedented times, brought by Covid-19, have put pressures on the whole St Elizabeth Hospice charity and as a result we have had to take steps to restructure our organisation to ensure we remain able to offer the highest level of care to patients and families we support across the region.

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“Last year alone, we cared for more than 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £11.5m, of which 75% was raised by the community through our retail shops and local fundraising activities which were made impossible due to social distancing and self-isolation brought by the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The temporary loss of these income streams has led to this restructuring but we will continue to work closely with our supporters in the community to raise vital funds to support anyone in the region who needs us.”

A survey by Community Action Suffolk in April found that around 60% of charities could be lost within 12 months without additional funding.

MORE: 60% of charities could collapse in a year without extra funding

Last month, 143 people lost their jobs at Age UK Suffolk after it was hit by significant financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

MORE: Age UK Suffolk to close – 143 to lose their jobs

The charity which supported older people across the county ceased operations on July 24.

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