Charity chief calls on government to extend NHS pay rise to hospice staff

Saint Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower.

Saint Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower. - Credit: Saint Francis Hospice

The boss of Saint Francis Hospice has urged the government to provide a pay increase for hospice workers after admitting the charity is struggling to attract new staff.

Pam Court said the Havering-atte-Bower hospice is finding it hard to recruit in some areas.

She told the Recorder the charity is unable to offer a pay rise to staff as it continues to face financial challenges following the impact of the Covid pandemic.

The government announced it would be giving NHS workers a three per cent pay rise and Ms Court is calling on this to be extended to hospice staff.

"I am quite nervous staff won't move to us if they think they are going to get poorer pay conditions than the NHS," Ms Court said.

She has written to the borough's MPs for their support on the issue.

Pam Court

Pam Court has called on the government to provide for a three per cent pay rise for hospice staff - Credit: Saint Francis Hospice

Labour's Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham MP, has written to health minister Sajid Javid to back the hospice.

He said: “Saint Francis Hospice provide a compassionate and important service for hundreds of local people.

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"I completely support the call for end-of-life hospice care workers to receive the three pc pay uplift that the government have given NHS staff.

"With an ageing population there will be mounting demand and pressure to deliver hospice care and similar services, so it is important that the government properly reward the work to ensure that charities such as Saint Francis can continue to provide specialist care for our family, friends and loved ones in later life.”

Conservative MPs for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, and Hornchurch and Upminster, Julia Lopez, also said they have raised the issue with the government.

A spokesperson for the department of health and social care said it is keeping funding arrangements for hospices "under regular review".

They added: “We continue to proactively engage with the sector to understand the issues they face, including determining any implications for non-NHS organisations as a result of the three pc pay uplift for NHS staff.

“Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations who remain free to set salary rates at a level that reflects the skills and experience of their staff.”