More Money For London Hospice

St. Joseph's Hospice London. Photo by Samuel Gallant, Blackburn News.

St. Joseph’s Hospice London is among 39 facilities getting a funding boost from the province.

London-North-Centre MPP Deb Matthews announced on Monday the province is increasing funding for existing hospice beds across Ontario by $15,000 per adult bed and $22,400 per pediatric bed. That works out to an annual increase of $150,000 for St. Joseph’s 10-bed Windermere Rd. facility.

“It means a significant increase in funding that we don’t have to raise ourselves to put to supporting the care of the residents within this building, it’s really significant,” John Callaghan, CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospice. “It represents a 15-16% increase over the funding we get from the province.”

Callaghan believes that the funds will work perfectly with pre-existing budgeting, making care better for residents.

“This will be able to compliment direct care with further supports to the residents,” says Callaghan.

The money announced Monday is the first step by the Ontario government to increase investment in hospice services by $13.9-million over the next three years. The additional investment was promised in the province’s 2016 budget.

“The quality of care that is delivered in hospice is fantastic. And we have heard from people who say we need to do more, we need to have this option available to more people,” says Matthews. “So that was the impetus behind the expansions.”

The extra support is meant to alleviate some of the pressure off of the hospices to raise money, as the majority of funding is gathered through fundraising in the community.

“We heard from the hospice community that they’re spending a lot of their time raising money, and if we could contribute more from the government, they could focus more on providing that front-line care,” says Matthews.


**This story was written by Samuel Gallant. Samuel is a student in the Fanshawe College broadcast journalism program. He is performing a summer internship with Blackburn News.**