Pendleside Hospice boss says cost-of-living crisis is third severe challenge in three years

The boss of Pendleside Hospice has described the current cost-of-living crisis as the “third severe challenge” to affect the hospice in three years.

Speaking to the Burnley Express about the looming issue of rocketing energy bills, Pendleside chief executive Helen McVey said good planning had meant their gas prices have been fixed, but she was unsure what would happen to their electric bills.

Helen said: “The cost-of-living crisis is the third severe challenge to affect Pendleside in the last three years following the pandemic and the Ukraine war which have both severely affected our fundraising.

“Fortunately, we had the foresight to fix our gas price for three years earlier this year, but our present electricity contract doesn’t end until 2023 so it is concerning how much this will rise.

Pendleside Hospice

“Also, we must keep up with wage inflation if we are to recruit and retain staff to deliver the standard of service in which we pride ourselves. Recently the NHS pay review awarded a 4% pay increase to nurses working in the NHS, consequently we know we need to keep abreast of these wage increases.

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“Apart from the increased energy costs we are also faced with fuel costs to run our vehicles and the cars that deliver our meals on wheels and bring day patients to and from the hospice. There is also the increase in food prices to feed our patients and provide our meals-on-wheels service plus the increase in costs of clinical and domestic supplies.

“One positive opportunity is our charity shop income as we expect more people to possibly look to purchase second-hand goods – although running these shops will cost us considerably more.

“With charitable donations contributing to 75% of the cost of all expenditure at Pendleside our NHS grant has increased by only 1.7% this year which is way behind the rate of inflation. And we are aware that the cost-of-living increases are affecting all of the community that normally financially supports the hospice.

“What we do know is that the demand on service will continue despite all of this and it is important that we continue to operate efficiently to support those who need our care.”