A West Midlands hospice has revealed just how much it costs to run the facility for 24 hours as part of a new appeal.

Marie Curie Hospice, in Solihull, has launched a ‘Pay for a Day’ appeal, aimed at the business community, to support increased care for Birmingham residents.

Businesses or individuals choose a date of special significance to them and pay for 24 hours of care that day – £7,321 after NHS contributions.

The West Midlands hospice opened last year and has since seen a significant increase in the number of patients and families it cares for across Birmingham.

Business leaders have now formed the Marie Curie Hospice Development Board which is planning a series of events over the coming year. It said it had seen 15 days paid for so far.

Chairman Ian Forrest, former Partner and now Consultant at Squire Sanders, and Mark Smith, Regional Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC, are among its members.

They are planning a series of events over the coming year and have seen lots of support for the Pay for a Day initiative, with 15 days paid for so far.

The Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull
The Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull
 

West Midlands businessman and chairman of Orion Media, Geoff Percy, is Marie Curie’s Pay for a Day ambassador.

He said: “With personal experience of losing my family, I don’t mind admitting that I was until a few years ago almost too scared to go back into a hospice. Through my involvement with Marie Curie I’ve been able to put my preconceptions aside.

“Pay for a Day gives us all an opportunity to support families through an incredibly tough time. It gives businesses the chance to support the community in which their staff and clients live and work.

“Most importantly, it’s a tangible way of showing the impact your donation is having.

“Everything that happens at the hospice that day, from the nursing, right through to the meals that are served – it’s all paid for by that donation.”

Mr Percy has paid for April 23, which would have been his parents’ wedding anniversary.

He said: “This support is vital to funding the care the nurses provide every day. We’re very grateful to those who are supporting Pay for a Day.

“Every day that we can count on a local company or individual to support is one more day of care. It’s that simple. It’s achievable for the business community to come together and help the hospice, one day at a time, to provide that vital care.”

The new Marie Curie Hospice cares for 2,000 patients a year from across the West Midlands. The Solihull centre takes 44 per cent of its GP and Consultant referrals for patients who live in Birmingham.

This catchment takes in a large swathe of the city, including five areas classed as among the country’s most deprived; Sparkbrook, Washwood Heath, Bordesley Green, Stechford and Yardley North.

Such areas see significantly higher than average rates of cancer diagnoses, as well as other diseases linked with economic deprivation, such as heart disease.

The hospice’s manager, Liz Cottier, reflected on the hospice’s first year in the new Solihull site.

“We have seen a 45 per cent increase in bed days this year as a result of moving into the new site. We are able to help more patients, from as far afield as Sandwell, and from across Birmingham,” she said.

“The hospice continues to be a key centre for Solihull and the surrounding local community, while our new home also enables us to increase our response for people across the city, where there is growing need.

“Over half of those who come here as in-patients will return home. We have a highly experienced palliative care team: nurses, doctors and consultants who are specialists in this field. Often, it is about getting pain medication right, or getting certain symptoms under control.

“It can offer respite for family members under a lot of stress, too. If a patient then wants to return home, we do everything in our power to get them there, and make sure they have the right care and support available once they get home,” she added.

The hospice hopes to secure the support of at least 30 Birmingham businesses this year. Call Natasha Sweet on 0121 703 3711 or natasha.sweet@mariecurie.org.uk.