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SVH Announcement In Response To Erroneous Press Report

Wednesday 28th October 2020


At the start of Financial Year 2019/20 it became clear that Hospices throughout the UK were in crisis. St Vincent’s Hospice reflected this national picture as we were forced to set a budget with a planned deficit of nearly 15% of income. This was clearly not sustainable. Income from legacies and single grants can offset a deficit but these sources of income are unpredictable and are unlikely to cover the entire shortfall. Therefore the Hospice faced the challenge of deciding how to reduce costs without damaging services.

We have done much since then and more recently to balance income and expenditure. For example:

(i) Minimisation of all non-salary costs

(ii) Initiatives to increase fund raising income (the conclusion we have reached is that additional effort and innovation does bring results but we have to work harder to maintain, rather than increase, fundraising income).

(iii) Reviews of services leading to redesign.

(iv) Recruitment freeze

Further action by way of restructure, removal of roles and changing of employment terms will create more flexibility and resilience of services.

We have made all decisions with the sustainability of the Hospice in mind, and attempted to balance this with the needs of our staff. However the simple arithmetic dictates that we have to remove some roles from across the organisation to make the income and expenditure balance. We know that the decisions made today will have a profound and lasting impact on the future of the Hospice.

The Hospice is a community-focused charity, providing specialist palliative services that patients and families need, and has continued to provide these services in the context of a national pandemic and an increasingly challenging economy. Even now as we respond to a second wave of COVID-19 the work of the Hospice will adapt to ensure a person-centred approach for patients and families. These are truly difficult times.

We've made the decisions we have with a focus on protecting as many jobs as possible, which in some cases means we're proposing to reduce the working hours of some positions. The new Organisational Structure also brings some new roles and opportunities.

We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We wish to reassure our staff and the wider community that we are doing everything possible to safeguard the future of St Vincent’s Hospice. All our services continue to be available for patients and families throughout Renfrewshire.

Regrettably Kate Lennon, our Chief Executive of nearly ten years has resigned due to health reasons and we thank her for her compassionate leadership and wish her the very best as she leaves to concentrate on her health and well being.

Kate worked tirelessly to develop the essential elements that underpin our strong community partnerships, fundraising, award winning volunteering services, family support and bereavement services. She leaves a significant legacy.

In the midst of this most challenging year Kate has worked closely with the Board to ensure that St Vincent’s Hospice will continue to deliver these essential services, and I wish to thank her for her exceptional work.

As we are in the mist of the restructure programme I have stepped aside from my role as Chairman of the Board of Trustees until the recruitment of a new CEO takes place, and will lead this important programme of work as the Interim CEO. Vice-Chair Diane Fisher will now lead the Board of Trustees and the governance of St Vincent’s Hospice.

Mrs Eunice E Muir MBA FCMI

Interim CEO

St Vincent’s Hospice

28 October 2020

SVH Announcement In Response To Erroneous Press Report