A campaign to stop a Canterbury hospice from closing has attracted more than 13 thousand supporters - causing trustees to reconsider. A trustee of Pilgrims Hospice said she was "extremely concerned" about the level of opposition.
The public meetings organised by Pilgrims Hospice due to be held on 9th June and 19th June in Margate and Ashford have been postponed so that the Trustees can review their plans, due to the reaction of the Charity's supporters at their first public meeting held last month.
Firstly we would like to thank our supporting community for attending our first public meeting in Canterbury. We are becoming painfully aware of how our incredibly loyal supporters feel about the Future Hospice Programme and we want them all to know that we are re-visiting the proposed programme this coming Thursday evening with a view to finding solutions to the problems that we are currently facing."
– Chairman of the Charity's Board of Trustees, Dr Richard Morey
A hospice in Kent will stop providing inpatient care in Canterbury within the next two years.
Pilgrims Hospice plans to look after terminally ill patients in their own homes, hospitals and care homes. It'll keep inpatient beds in Ashford and Thanet.
We have to make Pilgrims Hospice more responsive, equitable and accessible, and to focus on our core responsibility of providing expert palliative and end of life care. By spring 2016 we aim to provide more of our care in the community and at bedsides in hospitals and care homes.”
– Chief Executive, Steve Auty
The new strategy will allow Pilgrims to redeploy staff into the heart of the communities in east Kent. This will mean Pilgrims will no longer provide inpatient beds in the Canterbury hospice building but will keep inpatient beds at its other hospices in Ashford and Thanet.
Canterbury will remain an important centre as Pilgrims increases its investment in the delivery of education and development of its own staff and volunteers as well as for health and social care professionals across east Kent.
These are exciting changes for Pilgrims Hospice. They will allow us to deliver more care in people’s homes, where many want it, while still retaining expert inpatient hospice beds. We hope we can make these changes without compulsory redundancies, offering people new opportunities with Pilgrims. Together we will work to make Pilgrims Hospice fit for the future.”
If you saw Spiderman, a bear and a clown running across the Kent countryside today don't worry - you haven't been over-indulging. They were just some of the characters to line up in a village near Canterbury to raise money for a good cause - the Pilgrims Hospices. Here's Iain McBride.