Concerns for the future of St Raphael's Hospice
Fears have been raised that St Raphael’s Hospice could be left with a £1m funding gap when St Anthony’s Hospital is sold.
Sources close to both services, owned by The Daughters of the Cross charity, have raised concerns about St Raphael's future because it depends on a £1m invisible subsidy from St Anthony's.
The subsidy pays for a range of services and functions including infection control, IT, catering and use of hospital medical facilities such as blood transfusions and X-rays.
It costs £4m to provide care for around 900 patients at St Raphael’s each year. The NHS provides a grant of £1m and the rest is made up of charitable donations, fundraising and legacies.
If voluntary funders have to step up to fill the void left by St Anthony’s they will have to raise another million pounds to pay for back room staff - with no more patients being helped.
Stephen Cope the finance director at the hospice and Brian Clarke the chief executive, drafted a report which looked into the option of a new charity being created to take over both the hospice and hospital.
However, the Daughters of the Cross said the practical implications of these plans did not meet their objectives or the option they had chosen.
The MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow, said: "I’m disappointed that the Sisters who have such a fantastic record of philanthropy and developing the hospice have in effect decided to put it all at risk.
"St Anthony’s supports and sustains St Raphael’s - if [St Anthony’s] is sold to another provider there is no guarantee of this.
"£1m a year - that’s a big ask for the local community and puts a big question mark over its future."
A spokesperson for the Daughters of the Cross said: "We are absolutely committed to ensuring the future of St Raphael's.
"Now that a decision has been made on the hospital, we will be working with the management team at the hospice and our advisers to identify the changes that need to happen at St Raphael’s to make it completely independent and ensure the uninterrupted continuation of all necessary services.
"The community will continue to benefit from both a private hospital and hospice."