Hospice preparing to reopen beds after 'amazing' support from community

Frank Noble, chief executive of St Peter's Hospice.

Frank Noble, chief executive of St Peter's Hospice. - Credit: Archant

St Peter’s Hospice is preparing to reopen the beds it closed during the pandemic following a hugely successful fundraising campaign. 

In August 2020, the hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting conditions across North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, was facing a £2million shortfall. 

To try to plug the funding gap, the hospice temporarily closed five of its beds and its day care centre. 

In October, actor and comedian Stephen Merchant visited St Peter’s Hospice to launch the When It Matters Most campaign to raise vital funds for the charity, which had seen all its major fundraising events postponed, and its charity shops closed due to the pandemic. 

Stephen Merchant is appealing for people to support the hospice's When It Matters Campaign.

Stephen Merchant is appealing for people to support the hospice's When It Matters Campaign. - Credit: Archant

Thanks to the ‘amazing’ support from the community, as well as government grants and cost-savings, the hospice is now looking to reopen all the beds in the in-patient unit and invest in its services. 

Frank Noble, the hospice’s chief executive, said: “The support from people across North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire has been just incredible - the way they got behind us. 

“We didn’t really know from month to month what support we’d get. But people have been amazing.   

“We are obviously still in the middle of the pandemic and the pressure is still on, but we are now looking ahead to invest in people, services and patients.  

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“The first step is going to be reopening those beds. We will reopen them in stages, starting in the next couple of months.” 

The hospice was severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic, with staff working incredibly hard to care for patients in the most challenging circumstances. 

The hospice managed to keep services running - in person, over the phone and virtually - caring for more than 3,000 patients and their families over the past year.   

Thanks to the When It Matters Most campaign, and government support, it managed to break even for the financial year. 

Jayne Clarke, commercial director at St Peter’s Hospice, said: “After a year of hard work, tenacity and resilience we ended the financial year in a much better position than we ever thought imaginable. Thank you for supporting us and being there when it mattered most."

The hospice is now looking to the future and the challenges of funding care with continuing demand.  

It is reviewing the future of its day services to make them as effective and accessible as possible.

The charity will be looking at ways to provide community services that will benefit patients and their families, be it at the end of the phone, virtually or in the place that they call home.  

To find out how to support the hospice, log on to www.stpetershospice.org