The roof of the inpatient unit at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has deteriorated so badly that it “won’t last another winter”, the charity has said.
The hospice, which cares for more than 500 people with life limiting illnesses, are appealing for donations from the public to help fund the £260,000 renovation.
Unless the roof is replaced this summer, the hospice have warned that they may have to close some or all of their inpatient unit bedrooms next winter, putting patients at risk.
“Huge financial strain”
Rachel Shuttleworth, Deputy Matron at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said the broken roof had put a “huge strain” on the company’s finances.
“We don’t have money set aside for this”, she said.
“It’s the worst possible timing, just as we’re coming out of the pandemic, the most difficult time in over 40 years of looking after local people.”
“So many people have been here for expert, compassionate care during the pandemic – and hundreds more will need to come here this year.”
“We had to use portable radiators”
The Hospice Inpatient Unit was built in the 1970s and no longer keeps in the heat needed to ensure patients are kept warm and dry during the winter.
“In really cold weather, we’ve had to use portable radiators in some rooms, as the roof doesn’t hold the warmth in that well”, said Ms Shuttleworth.
But Katy O’Sullivan, Head of Philanthropy at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said that their quality of care had not suffered as a result.
“So far, the deteriorating roof hasn’t affected patient or family areas, and it has never impacted the excellent care that is given to local people, but we can’t make do anymore.
“It costs over £8.1 million every year to fund our vital services with over 60% of this coming from voluntary donations.
The fact we’ve made it through Covid-19 so far is simply down to the support we’ve received from our incredible supporters. And so we’re reaching out to our community once more, in this emergency.”
The charity have so far raised around £2000 of their crowdfunding target.