A Birmingham hospice is to be taken over by its own staff in a bid to sweep away red tape and improve patient care.
Erdington’s John Taylor Hospice, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, will leave direct NHS control on April 1 after staff won the right to run the hospice as an independent social enterprise.
Outlining the benefits, the site’s clinical lead Helen Karakas, who leads a team of 52 in-patient nurses and a bank staff of 35 more, said: “We will be a smaller organisation and there will be less bureaucracy.
“We will be able to respond quickly to the needs of our community and decisions will be taken at a local level.”
But the change will also present a financial challenge with the hospice’s League of Friends fundraisers warning they would need to drum up an additional £600,000 per year.
Interim chief executive Jonathan Lloyd, who was seconded from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust to oversee the transition, said: “There are challenges ahead, but also huge opportunities. It is going to be an exciting time for us and it has to work.
“We have to make sure we maintain engagement with the community. This will be about strengthening and maintaining the relationships.
“Becoming a social enterprise changes the way we work, it allows us to source locally. There are real opportunities for us.
“The League of Friends does a great job on our behalf but we will really have to focus on generating income like a business in order to provide the huge level of vital free services we provide.