Our chairman's statement about quality

The Quality Account for 2020-21 reflects the truly exceptional work delivered by all employees and volunteers in what has been the most challenging of years most of us can remember. While COVID-19 changed and challenged many of the norms of society that we took for granted, it remained that Mary Ann and all those associated with us rose to the challenge and delivered to the benefit of the community in northern Warwickshire. What is more remarkable is that this achievement was realised in the face of unprecedented demand for our services.

Led by our newly formed Leadership Team, the quality of clinical services, support for clients experiencing bereavement and for carers is evident throughout everything that we do. Equally important, is the effort of those who run the shops and raise money to allow us to serve our community. Without this business support none of the clinical outcomes would be possible and the care offered to families would suffer significantly. It truly is a whole team effort for which all Trustees are extremely grateful.

We operate locally relevant services and as a charity we are substantially dependent on the generosity of beneficiaries, supporters and other philanthropic contributions. In 2020-21 this was a huge challenge, particularly given the impact that COVID-19 had on our ability to generate revenue through our traditional channels. Overnight our income from retail and events effectively stopped. On top of this we were unable to deliver our services in the ways we traditionally had and many of our volunteers were unable to support us due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. All this came at a time when the demand for our services was growing and growing. So it was welcome that direct funding, negotiated by Hospice UK, was agreed and that we took advantage of the furlough scheme and business grants during the lockdown period. We are also grateful to those individuals and businesses that recognised our issues and donated significantly during this period.

Our people were magnificent in responding to these changes, both those having to quickly alter the way they worked and delivered services to our very vulnerable patients and those experiencing the considerable frustrations of furlough. The strong partnership with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) to deliver services to patients and their carers living at home and facing crises outside normal working hours came into its own as we had to shut our day hospice. Working with colleagues in the NHS and the Clinical Commissioning Group we reshaped our services to face the crisis. As part of our commitment to working with other Hospices in the region we volunteered to be the reception centre for Hospice PPE within the West Midlands.

Now we have to look to the future and transition out of managing the crisis that COVID-19 presented us with and move into the new world, with new ways of doing things, different pressures and the legacy that COVID-19 has left. We will look at what works and what needs to change and combine the good of what we had pre COVID-19 with the learning we have gone through during the crisis. In summary, although the next months are surrounded by uncertainty, we have learnt an immense amount since the beginning of the year and are prepared to meet whatever challenges arise. As Chair and Chief Executive we believe that it is important for the Board and the Leadership Team to act corporately in setting the direction for our services and to sharing the risks involved. It has never been more important to stress how much we depend on the goodwill of our community to whom we are absolutely committed to offering the best end of life care and support possible.

Chris Bartup
Chair of the Board
Dated: 02/06/2021

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