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Andrew Mitchell MP highlights recruitment challenges for St Giles Hospice in Sutton Coldfield and palliative care sector

The Royal Town’s MP tabled a Parliamentary Question to the Health Secretary following a meeting with the CEO of St Giles Hospice in Sutton Coldfield.

“To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an estimate of the financial effect of the proposed NHS pay increases on voluntary sector hospices.”

St Giles Hospice, which is based in Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield, cares for around 7000 people with a variety of conditions in the local community – many Royal Suttonians benefit from the essential care and support that St Giles provides. To carry out its work, the hospice employs a range of health and care professionals ranging from occupational therapists and pharmacists to doctors and nurses.

During the meeting Emma Hodges, Group Chief Executive, explained the Hospice’s concern that while the increases in NHS pay were welcome, charitable hospices are not current able to access that additional funding.

Andrew Mitchell said:

“I fully support the Government's mission to make the NHS the safest, highest quality healthcare system in the world. And how we value and retain our staff is critical, I fully support the Government in its announcement that it will fund a new pay rise for NHS staff, worth over 6 per cent over the next three years. This will benefit not just nurses, but all staff on the Agenda for Change pay scale.

“However, there can be no doubt that Hospices - which carry out vital work in supporting people affected by terminal illness – also faces recruitment challenges and must compete with the NHS for the skilled staff that are needed to keep operations running smoothly. Yet it cannot access the same support that the NHS has been provided with by the Government. I hope that my Parliamentary Question will urge the Health Secretary to give this point some serious consideration.”

The Minister of State, Stephen Barclay, replied:

“The proposed Agenda for Change pay framework, which includes contract reform and pay awards over three years, is currently out to consultation with the National Health Service trades unions and the outcome will be known in early June.

“We are considering the impact of the agreement on non-NHS organisations such as hospices that may be affected by the proposed deal however no decisions have been made.

“Staff in hospices do a fantastic job in delivering world-class care. The Department remains fully committed to improving palliative and end of life care.”

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