Ashgate Hospicecare has been shortlisted for a top industry award following its campaign calling for increased funding to pay for its vital palliative and end-of-life care. The campaign, which harnessed the support of the local community and key stakeholders within healthcare, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Advocacy Campaign category in this year’s national Purpose Awards.
In December, following months of Ashgate rallying NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the two organisations came to an agreement which promised to safeguard jobs and vital end-of–life care for the residents of North Derbyshire.
It’s one of two awards the North Derbyshire charity is up for after being nominated to receive a Derbyshire Beacon of Hope Award, which praises organisations that have worked tirelessly to keep communities safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospicecare, has spoken of her delight after the charity was nominated for the award. She said:
“We are delighted that our campaign has been shortlisted for this year’s Purpose Awards. The campaign was a very important one for Ashgate as like many hospices across the UK, COVID presented us with the twin challenges of increased demand and lost income.
“We immediately decided we were going to care for end-of-life COVID patients and at the same time, we were also faced with a situation where we might have no choice but to make job cuts in the middle of a pandemic – exactly the time when the need for our compassionate end of life care had never been more important.
“Our Leadership Team and Board of Trustees took the brave decision to tell our supporters in more detail about how we are funded and the challenges this brings, whilst asking our community to help us secure the funding we so desperately needed.”
Ashgate’s campaign is one of five to be shortlisted for the Best Advocacy Campaign award, with national charities like Refuge making up the shortlist. The winner of the award will be revealed at the end of June during a virtual awards ceremony.
Speaking of the uncertainty faced by the hospice last year, Barbara-Anne, said:
“We couldn’t have achieved this outcome without the support of our local community and healthcare colleagues who have spoken up for us. Hundreds of people campaigned on our behalf, they shone a light on Ashgate’s funding situation, which meant that our plight could not be ignored. What they have helped us achieve is nothing short of incredible.
We hope to have helped create more of a dialogue about end-of-life care and how it is funded. We will continue to raise awareness of the need for hospices like ours to be properly and more sustainably funded, with a greater proportion of this essential and much-needed care funded by health budgets.”
Following the agreement between Ashgate Hospicecare and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the body’s Chief Finance Officer, Richard Chapman, said: “Ashgate Hospicecare continues to be an important part of the health service provision in Derbyshire.
“We are pleased that the CCG, on behalf of the wider NHS system, has been able to work with the hospice over recent weeks to assure colleagues there of the value we place on the specialist services provided by their excellent staff.”
For the full list of shortlisted charities go to https://www.purposeawards.
Cover Photo: Barbara-Anne-Walker-Chief-Executive-Ashgate-Hospicecare