St. Kentigern's Hospice Stays Afloat by Cutting Jobs and Beds

St. Kentigern's hospice, St. Asaph, is planning to cut jobs and beds as a result of budget problems. The hospice has held emergency talks with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health board, and came to an agreement to reorganise services.

The hospice will see three of its nurses leave on voluntary redundancy and eight seconded to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. The number of in-patient beds will be halved to four. This decision will allow the hospice to avoid immediate closure. The remaining staff have agreed to changes in the terms and conditions of their employment.

Chairman of the hospice, Trefor Jones, expressed his appreciation to those who had cooperated in helping the establishment avoid a crisis. He said that they were now in a position to more forward, with renewed hope for the future.

Mr. Jones has appealed for public support for the 15-year old hospice, which costs £4,400 per day to run. The hospice is also engaged in talks with local GPs and unions, as well as volunteers and the palliative care team of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. The Welsh Assembly Government will be of no help, however, as it has made clear that no more cash is available for St. Kentigern's.