Hospiscare has been awarded a £480,000 funding increase from NHS Devon for the next financial year.

The charity, providing end-of-life care and support for patients and their families in Exeter and Mid and East Devon, had warned that it might have to cut its services if it didn't receive more money from NHS Devon, the county’s integrated care board (ICB).

Hospiscare costs nearly £10 million a year to run and was receiving just 18 per cent of this from the ICB, compared with a national average of 37 per cent given by ICBs in England towards the running costs of other hospice services.

The announcement of the extra money for 2024-25 follows a campaign by the East Devon MP Simon Jupp and other MPs in the area served by Hospiscare. Simon Jupp MP first raised the funding issue in 2022 and has repeatedly asked NHS Devon to review their 'woefully' low contributions to local hospice services.

Mr Jupp said: “Following persistent campaigning, I’m delighted that Hospiscare is receiving nearly half a million pounds to boost its budget for the next year. After two years of letters and meetings with the NHS, we’ve finally made some progress.

"Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of NHS Devon, still needs to provide more funding, comparable with nearby counties, and include other local providers including Sidmouth Hospice at Home who don’t receive a penny from NHS Devon. Many of our loved ones will need the support provided by local hospice charities and their brilliant teams.

"Devon’s NHS bosses need to look at neighbouring counties who provide fair NHS funding for hospices and do the right thing, once and for all. Nonetheless, nearly half a million pounds for Hospiscare is a step in the right direction." 

Andrew Randall, CEO of Hospiscare, said: “We at Hospiscare are grateful for the support of our local MPs in our call for fair funding. I would like to extend our thanks to Simon Jupp MP for his active campaigning locally and in Westminster to get local hospices a fair deal. We were delighted to host Simon at our HQ recently and to hear of his continued commitment to getting Devon’s hospices the improved funding they need. We have been clear that to maintain our current hospice services for local people, we need fair and equitable funding from Devon ICB.

"While the award of additional money from ICB for 2024-25 is welcome, unfortunately it doesn’t give the hospice financial stability. Even with the extra money, the ICB’s funding contribution for next year is 24 per cent, far below the 37 per cent national average for hospice funding that we need to retain our current level of services.

"Our services represent excellent value for money for the NHS, as the hospice raises the vast majority of our operating costs thanks to the remarkable generosity of our local community. However, there is only so much money we are able to raise ourselves.”