A HOSPICE in Basingstoke has launched an urgent appeal to close a funding gap.

St Michael’s Hospice has launched the appeal because it expects its costs this year to be nearly £600,000 more than its income.

The hospice is an independent charity based in Basingstoke, supporting people across North Hampshire who have a life-limiting illness, are facing the end of life or experiencing bereavement.

Staff say only 16 per cent of its funding comes from the government. Although end-of-life care is an essential service and not a luxury, it is not funded like other care services.

A spokesperson said its funds are stretched due to the current cost of living crisis, high fuel and energy costs, high inflation rates, combined with more than 15 years of below inflation increases to its government NHS funding.

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Basingstoke Gazette: A staff and patient at the hospice A staff and patient at the hospice (Image: St Michael's Hospice)

Dr Rachel McDonald, a palliative care doctor at the hospice, said: “Our community needs us. Local families need us. One day, you or someone you love might need us. Any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

"Your generosity will ensure that individuals and their families going through the most challenging times can continue receiving the care they deserve. Together, we can ensure that St Michael’s Hospice continues to provide specialised care well into the future.”

As a charity, it depends on the kindness of supporters to help it raise the additional £15,000 a day needed to keep its services across North Hampshire running.

The hospice is now seeing more patients and families than ever as they seek the support they need.

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Reacting to the urgent appeal, Maria Miller Basingstoke's MP, said: “St Michael's is an expert in providing end-of-life care for so many patients and their families. That's why they have our love and support. I will do all I can to make sure funding for St Michael's is a real priority for our local NHS who decide where public money is used.”

To support the hospice, visit stmichaelshospice.org.uk/get-involved/support-us/spring-appeal/