Havering-atte-Bower’s Saint Francis Hospice ‘urgently’ needs to make £413,000 of savings

St Francis Hospice Chief Executive Pam Court

St Francis Hospice Chief Executive Pam Court - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of a hospice has stressed that the charity is “not at risk”, after a leaked email revealed that it needs to make £413,000 worth of savings.

A financial update sent to staff members at Saint Francis Hospice, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, and seen by the Recorder last week, states that the charity once again had a deficit budget in 2017, due to its “current financial challenges”.

The report states: “Last year saw us set a deficit budget and though this is not something we wanted to do again, we’re now having to look at setting a deficit budget for the next three years, which is a risk to the hospice.

“We need to get everyone thinking about how we function as a charity.

“Do we always ask “can we get it for free?” or “can a volunteer do it for us”?, or have we encouraged fundraising to support income generation.

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“We appear to be using less volunteers than we have in the past and we also need to consider our purchasing habits to be as cost effective as possible.”

In the report, it says the current deficit is £913,000 but the charity is looking to bring this down to £500,000 “urgently”.

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There are also six job vacancies in the fundraising department and one as a consultant.

Speaking to the Recorder, chief executive Pam Court wishes to stress that no changes are being made to the charity.

She said: “It’s important to start with the message that services will not be affected and at no time has this ever been suggested.

“Service cuts were not discussed in any way – maintaining our services and delivering high quality patient care and carer support is very much our priority, and we have invested significantly in our services over the past three years.

“Saint Francis Hospice is not at risk”.

Ms Court added that donations are more important than ever with £21,000 needed everyday to provide its specialist end of life care.

“We’re constantly reviewing how we spend our funding to ensure we are prioritising patient care, and with more than 70pc of our income coming from the public, it is our responsibility to ensure the money raised and donated to us is spent in the most appropriate way, every day.”

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