Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway is facing a funding shortfall due to a lack of support from NHS Western Isles, local SNP councillor have claimed.
Stornoway councillors Gordon Murray and Rae Mackenzie said the health board previously paid half of the cost of hospice services.
Recent changes means NHS funding for Bethesda is channelled though the Western Isles health and social care partnership, the Integration Joint Board (IJB).
The funding level is due to be discussed by the board at the end of this month.
Failure to cover the full 50% has left the hospice struggling to cover costs, according to the councillors who are calling on members of the IJB to resolve this issue “as a matter of urgency.”
Councillor Murray said: “Bethesda Hospice have had no increase in funding since 2007. Funding has dropped to 32% of costs over ten years or more.
“Bethesda now has to pay 68% of hospice costs.”
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
He added: “The real issue here is that the board is passing these costs onto the community through the IJB.
“Under the new arrangements, the health board is meant to be transferring monies from acute services into the community. We are not seeing any evidence of this. Instead the third sector and local communities are being asked to do more with less funding, or indeed no funding at all.”
Councillor Rae MacKenzie said “The bottom line is that Bethesda has to raise an extra £100,000 on top of the £270,0000 they already need to raise – and that is just to break even.
“Bethesda provides a much-needed service. Some months its outgoings are greater than its income. This puts a huge burden on staff who are already working on less than favourable conditions to try and keep costs down.”
Councillor Murray has already written to the chair of the IJB requesting urgent action.
A Western Isles NHS spokesperson said: “Many staff and organisations contribute to delivering care and services for patients and their families at their most difficult times.
“Alongside Bethesda, the board equally values and appreciates all those who contribute. Western Isles health board has worked closely with Bethesda Hospice over the years to ensure that the best possible outcomes are being achieved by both parties, and at each review, agree the level of funding for the next period.
“NHSWI values and commends the services provided by Bethesda Hospice and will continue to work with colleagues at Bethesda to support patients and families in providing the best care possible.”