Shake-up at St Catherine's Hospice to protect care

St Catherine's Hospice in Scarborough has announced that jobs may be affected as part of a restructure.

St Catherine's Hospice
St Catherine's Hospice

The proposed changes may impact on five per cent of the workforce, which currently stands at 186 full and part-time roles.

A statement from Saint Catherine’s chief executive and trustees explained: "This morning, Saint Catherine’s began a consultation process on a proposed restructure of the organisation.

"The focus of this proposal is the continuous improvement and development of Saint Catherine’s to ensure it is ‘fit for the future’ as a 21st century hospice, which is able to maintain high levels of quality care and support in a sustainable way.

"Saint Catherine’s has been proudly serving the community for over 30 years and we remain committed to doing so. The proposed changes will occur whilst minimising all possible impact on patient, carer and family, care and support. Anyone currently using our services will continue to see the same level of care delivered to them.

"Over a number of years Saint Catherine’s has been operating with a significant financial deficit. Through the historic generosity of our supporters we have been able to use our savings to help us through this time while we look at our options for the future.

"Over its long history, the structure and development of Saint Catherine’s has been based on new services and functions simply being attached to the existing organisation.

"Whilst this approach worked historically with the financial support we received, this is no longer the case. The proposals which have been formulated are designed to meet the changing needs of patients and allows Saint Catherine’s to be an organisation which is indeed ‘fit for the future’."

Mike Wilkerson, chief executive of Saint Catherine’s, said: ‘Saint Catherine’s is an important and well respected part of our local communities. We are restructuring now to ensure we are able to deliver our services to those who need our care and support for the next 30 years, and beyond.

"Today, more than any other time, we need to meet increased demand and operate as a flexible and lean organisation focused on continuous improvement and development, combined with working as efficiently and effectively as possible.’

"We need to be able to deliver our care and support in a sustainable way to patients, carers and families who need us. It is time for us to think about how we do that. Unfortunately the proposals we have formulated may affect a number of roles, around 5% of the workforce."

"During the consultation period we will make no further statement out of respect to those involved. We anticipate being able to provide a full update on proposed changes early in December."

Saint Catherine’s provides specialist palliative care and support for individuals with terminal illnesses and their families, within an area of North Yorkshire covering more than 1,600 square miles.

The hospice was first established in 1985, and over the years has grown to become a centre of excellence for palliative care, being rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in 2016.

The referral criteria for about 50% of patients stems from cancer, with the remainder having a diagnosis from a wide range of other illnesses such as heart disease, respiratory conditions, end stage kidney and liver disease and neurological illnesses. In 2016 the hospice cared for over 3,000 individuals and their families.

It currently costs over £6 million every year to deliver patient care. Around 67% of this comes from voluntary donations from the general public, community groups, businesses operating in the local area and Charitable Trusts and Foundations across the UK. 33% derives from NHS grants.

Saint Catherine’s is supported by around 500 unpaid volunteers.