Welsh hospices get £6.3m boost after 'devastating loss of income'

A three-month package of additional support worth up to £6.3 million has been announced for hospices in Wales.

The services rely on charitable fundraising for around two-thirds of their income, and have seen shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid lockdown measures, fundraising events have been cancelled, charity shops have been forced to close and campaigns have been paused.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said the money would enable hospices to continue providing their vital services in the absence of such fundraising activity.

As their normal charitable income dries up there is a very serious risk that hospice and end of life care services could slip into insolvency.

Vaughan Gething AM, Health Minister
St David's Hospice Care described the coronavirus outbreak as the biggest challenge in their 40 year history. Credit: St David's Hospice Care

The cash will come from a £1.1 billion fund created by the Welsh Government to respond to the pandemic.

Marie Curie has welcomed the announcement after what they describe as a "devastating loss of fundraising income."

We welcome the announcement today from Health Minister Vaughan Gething of this vital support for hospices and the end of life care charity sector in Wales, following the money coming to Wales as part of the Chancellor’s announcement before Easter.

Simon Jones, Marie Curie Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Figures released on Saturday showed that a total of 534 people have died with confirmed coronavirus in Wales, an increase of 28 deaths since Friday's figures.

Public Health Wales said the figures related to people who had a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19, with the majority of deaths occurring in hospital settings and some in care homes.