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Hospice's £200,000 crisis

PUBLISHED: 17:21 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 23 August 2010

Gravesend
09-12-08
Lions Hospice struggling with funding
Dr Elizabeth Jones with her daughter Isabella who was cared for at the Hospice

Gravesend 09-12-08 Lions Hospice struggling with funding Dr Elizabeth Jones with her daughter Isabella who was cared for at the Hospice

A CHARITY that has provided hospice care and support to sick adults and children for 20 years needs £200,000 within months or faces cuts to services. The Ellenor Lions Hospice, based at Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, became the latest victim of the credit

A CHARITY that has provided hospice care and support to sick adults and children for 20 years needs £200,000 within months or faces cuts to services.

The Ellenor Lions Hospice, based at Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, became the latest victim of the credit crunch after announcing the funding blackhole.

Providing services across north west Kent and Bexley for 2,500 patients, bosses predict cuts will be made if the shortfall in the expected income from donations for 2009 is not met.

The organisation, formed from the merger of Ellenor Lions Hospice at Home and the Lions Hospice a year ago needs money to secure the current levels of patient care.

Dr Elizabeth Jones, 50, a consultant in palliative care is employed by the charity.

Her 15-year-old daughter Isabelle was cared for by the organisation when she was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2004.

The mother-of-three, of Beech Hill Road, Eltham, supports and visits patients in Bexley.

She said: "I am very saddened to hear that the organisation is struggling. I know first hand just how fantastic a place it is.

"Isabelle was diagnosed at the age of 11. As well as receiving hospital treatment, she received care at home from the charity.

"The hospice made the whole experience a lot less arduous for all of us. They helped me share the load, which was wonderful. When you are a mum it can be hard. They helped me and supported me through what was a very difficult time for me and my family. It is a local service, it helps local people and people need to be informed that it needs funding to carry on the special service it provides.

"Isabelle is also upset that something so important is suffering. The organisation made her illness just that bit more bearable for her."

Ellenor Lions Hospices is financed both by private and corporate donations and funding from the Bexley Care Trust and West Kent PCT, which covers 23 to 25 per cent of adult services.

The organisation employs more than 200 people and is supported by 800 volunteers. It costs £13,402.74 every day to provide in-patient care at the Northfleet hospice and home visits.

Dr Jones added: "It is a wonderful place to work and all the staff are very sad to hear the news and are anxious about the future.

"Everyone understands why it is happening. Unfortunately charities are going to be first in line to suffer in a credit crisis. The very vulnerable people we care for are also anxious.

"The bottom line is we are most concerned about the patients, and whether the care they receive will be cut."

Carol stone, chief executive officer of the charity, said: "Sadly the recession has hit us in the same way it has hit so many others, but we simply cannot allow it to affect the level of care we provide.

"The community have always been supportive of their local

hospices and so we are asking once again for everyone to dig deep.

"Please help us to be able to provide you with the hospice services you deserve and need in your community.

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