Chipping Norton MP offers to help Katharine House Hospice with funding problem

Robert Courts and Anharad Orchard NNL-180309-170457001
Robert Courts and Anharad Orchard NNL-180309-170457001

Chipping Norton and Witney MP Robert Courts has agreed to help Banbury’s hospice raise awareness in government of a funding crisis.

Mr Courts visited Katharine House and heard how new rules for NHS pay may mean a financial problem for the hospice.

Chief executive Angharad Orchard explained to the MP how a decision not to offer charitable hospices the same financial support given to NHS institutions for pay increases will mean a serious shortfall.

“Many of the people we help live in Robert’s constituency,” she said. “Last year we supported more than 130 people around Chipping Norton through our hospice, community nursing teams, outpatient services and bereavement support.”

The hospice warned that the government’s decision will have unintended consequences for charitable hospices and means Katharine House will face a significant shortfall on resources that are already fully stretched.

“I’m delighted Mr Courts will support us as we raise awareness of the significant challenges we will face with the Government’s current position.,” said Ms Orchard.

“We hope that with the help of local MPs we can reduce the impact on charitable hospices and ensure we can continue to provide the highest quality of care to anyone who needs us in our community.”

The Banbury Guardian revealed in July that the hospice could find itself facing a £250,000 shortfall over the next three years because its pay policies do not match exactly the criteria of the government’s Agenda for Change. Because of that it will not be given a share of a fund to pay for the expected pay rises.

The hospice matches things like higher pay and pensions but not mileage because of the extra burden it would place on the hospice, which has to raise three quarters of its £4m annual costs through fundraising.