AN ULVERSTON hospice has warned a second lockdown could have a serious impact on its financial situation - having already made staffing cut backs earlier in the year.

The warning from St Mary's Hospice comes after a report earlier this week highlighted that a third of all hospices in England are on the brink of making redundancies and cutting back services for end of life care, due to financial issues caused by the pandemic.

Val Stangoe, chief executive officer of St Mary’s Hospice, said: “St Mary’s Hospice regularly reviews its staffing structure to ensure it continues fit organisational needs. C

"Covid social distancing measures have impacted negatively on income generation.

"However, we count ourselves very lucky that the Government delivered a grant from April – July to pay for the bed capacity our community fundraising usually pays for.

“We are also lucky that previous generosity through legacies has allowed us to save into our reserves and this fund is for just such rainy days as these.

“We have therefore managed to keep job losses to an absolute minimum and kept in place staff to either support patients and families or maximise our ability to create future funds.

“Many hospice staff work on a part-time basis. Up to this point we have lost the equivalent of one whole time job.

“How the year will end for us financially depends on whether we enter another lockdown or not. “Any future decisions about jobs will be based on a balance between ensuring the hospice continues to exist to benefit future generations and keeping the hospice functioning today as best we can.

“If any readers would like to help us keep making a difference we’d invite them to join our Regular Giving programme on”

Many hospices across the UK are facing a similar situation if the UK goes into a second lockdown.

Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Hospice UK, said: “The Covid pandemic has hit the hospice and end of life care sector hard, and many hospices are struggling to cope with a fall in community fundraising and the closure of charity shops, which collectively bring in approximately 70 per cent of income.

“While the sector is incredibly grateful for previous emergency funds from the government, with the rise in Covid infections and continuation of social distancing and shielding measures, it will be stretched to its limits and unable to sustain the level of care needed in the longer term without more sustainable funding.

“Many hospices are now having to make hard decisions to ensure they can continue to provide care throughout the coming winter season, and long into the future, with a third of hospices in England currently talking about making redundancies and cutting services.

"These measures may be permanent, which is catastrophic."