Hospice at risk of closing due to funding cuts
A flagship hospice could close due to government funding cuts.
Campaigners fear Bury Hospice on Rochdale Old Road, Bury, could be forced to shut within six months because the government is ‘withholding’ 40m from the NHS budget in Bury .
James Frith, a Labour councillor in Bury who will contest the Bury North seat at the next general election, is launching a campaign and said the hospice was ‘at risk’.
And he claimed dementia care, fertility treatment and psychological treatments in Bury could also be hit.
The development follows a plea to the government for extra cash amid claims the NHS in Bury was one of the worst-funded in the region.
The M.E.N. understands that concerns about the future of the 5m facility have been raised by senior NHS managers in Bury. Hospice bosses have been asked to provide a full report.
Coun Frith said: “Our priority has to be keeping the hospice to ensure the very best care for the terminally ill and most frail in Bury. We’ve all donated, fundraised or supported the hospice or know someone who has.
It’s one of our most cherished resources. That it now faces closure is an absolute disgrace. I hope many will want to join the campaign to save Bury Hospice and stand up for NHS Bury together.”
Dr Kiran Patel, chair of Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, said NHS services in Bury were ‘underfunded’ and extra cash for the hospice was ‘limited’.
He said: “Recognising the vital work that the hospice does for the patients of Bury, we have asked the hospice to provide the Clinical Commissioning Group with a proposal for further funding in the hospice, which we would consider at our next board meeting.
“However, it must be recognised that our resources are fully committed and our ability to fund fully any additional proposals are limited due to us being the most underfunded Clinical Commissioning Group in the north of England.”
Earlier this year, the health secretary was asked by Labour’s shadow cabinet member and Bury MP Ivan Lewis to step in to help fill the funding black hole. The party said shortfalls in cash allocations would leave the NHS in Bury a total of 60m short over three years.
The hospice opened after moving from Dumers Lane, Radcliffe. in March last year. It provides support to more than 1,000 seriously and terminally ill patients each year.
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editor-in-chief MEN Media and Trinity Mirror Huddersfield
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Rob Irvine was appointed editor-in-chief of MEN Media and Trinity Mirror Huddersfield in April 2012.
Rob joined Trinity Mirror in 2001 and was editor of the Daily Post North Wales for seven years. He was also publishing director for Trinity Mirror North Wales and Cheshire.
He grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester and has worked in the local newspaper industry for 27 years.
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