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After months of negotiations, Ashgate Hospicecare and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have come to an agreement which will safeguard jobs and vital end-of-life care for the residents of North Derbyshire.
The charity, which employs over 300 paid staff, has secured a settlement to work in partnership with the CCG to help shape end of life care and plans for North Derbyshire. Staff have been informed that the hospice now will not have to make redundancies and cut services in the New Year as feared.
Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “We are delighted that the CCG have confirmed their commitment to Ashgate Hospicecare and to working together to deliver the best possible end of life care in North Derbyshire.
“It is such a huge relief to know that we will be able to provide the care our community needs now and into the future. It will also ensure that we will be able to continue to see as many patients as we do now, and we are able to continue to offer the same high-quality care that our patients deserve.
“It has been an incredibly worrying time for staff, and we couldn’t have achieved this outcome without the support of our local community and healthcare colleagues who have spoken up for us. Hundreds of people campaigned on our behalf, they shone a light on Ashgate’s situation, which meant that our plight could not be ignored. What they have achieved collectively is nothing short of incredible.”
Like many charities, Ashgate Hospicecare has seen its income dramatically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in at least £2.4 million in lost revenue.
Barbara-Anne continues: “Of course, being a charity, our funding challenges never completely go away, and the 2021 outlook for fundraising and retail remains extremely challenging. However, we are more confident than ever that with the support of our community we will be able to weather this storm.”
Richard Chapman, Chief Finance Officer at NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Ashgate Hospicecare continues to be an important part of the health service provision in Derbyshire. We are pleased that the CCG, on behalf of the wider NHS system, has been able to work with the hospice over recent weeks to assure colleagues there of the value we place on the specialist services provided by their excellent staff.
“The agreement we have reached reflects the ongoing partnership we have with the hospice, and the role it plays working with us in shaping services that ensure excellent care is available to our population throughout their lives.”