Covid-19 – A message from our chief executive

May 2020


We are living in unusual times, and I do hope that you and your loved ones are coping with the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.

The hospice you know and love is still supporting your community, but to respond to the current needs for Covid-19 we have had to dramatically change and increase the size and scope of our services. This means we are supporting people in their homes on a scale of operation we have never attempted before, at a time when income is all but drying up now that all community activities and events have been cancelled/postponed and all our shops closed.

One of the most devastating situations for families we are aware of is where someone at the end of their life cannot be with their closest family, because of the restrictions around Covid-19. We just cannot allow this to happen, so if a patient is not able to come into Prospect Hospice’s much-loved inpatient unit, for any reason, we will take that specialist care out to them instead.

In order to raise the funds we are currently losing and to ensure the hospice survives this pandemic, we really need your help in enabling our patients to spend their last precious days and moments surrounded by their loved ones, something I’m sure you’ll agree must happen wherever possible.

As a local independent charity, we depend on nearly three quarters of our income to come from wonderful supporters like yourself. Simply put, without your support the hospice would not exist.

As you’d expect, we have cut costs wherever we can, and you will have seen that the Government recently committed £200 million to support hospices across the country. From this Prospect Hospice has received an allocation of £341,000, which we welcome, however, in the current climate, we calculate that over the coming six months the shortfall from lost income will mean that we will still need to raise a further £2 million to deliver the hospice service. A big number I am sure you will agree.

We are so grateful to each and every one of our supporters for being part of Prospect Hospice and if you have recently made a donation to us, I apologise for contacting you again so soon. I would never normally do so, but I’m afraid the fact is that the lockdown is having a devastating effect on the amount of funds that come into the hospice every week. We now find ourselves in the position where we need your help more than we ever have to ensure that we survive this.

Every day during this period, it is costing £17,197 to run all of the hospice care services.

Here are a few more examples of what costs look like during this time but of course we would be hugely grateful for any amount that anyone is able to give:

  • £26 – Is the average cost of a nurse’s fuel per day to visit patients in their own homes
  • £87 – Is the average cost for all the patient and carer related consultations that need to take place
  • £177 – Is the daily cost for all of the specialist medical supplies and equipment that we need to care for a patient
  • £379 – Is the average cost for a staff member to deliver a 12 hour shift of patient care
  • £601 – Is the average cost of care per person supported during this period

Every donation, however large or small, will allow us to continue caring for patients and their families at one of the most difficult times in their lives and ensure that the hospice also survives this awful pandemic. If you are able to give, I thank you on behalf of every one of them.


Irene Watkins

Chief executive

To make a donation to Prospect Hospice, click here. Alternatively please send a cheque (made payable to Prospect Hospice Ltd) to Prospect Hospice, Moormead Road, Wroughton, Swindon SN4 9BY.

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