Quarterly reporting online

East Cheshire Hospice has become the first charity in the country to provide an up-to-date insight into its progress.

The charity is sharing its internal quarterly reports online with the public, rather than waiting until its annual accounts are formally published several months after each financial year end.

The website information relates to patient numbers; volunteer and staffing levels; community fundraising; income; comments and complaints and a breakdown of how money raised is spent.

The details from the latest period, from July to September 2017, will be available at eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/financialinfo before the end of October.

Hospice Director Mike Pyrah said: "No other charity provides this service and we're trying to be more open than any other organisation in our sector.

"We think that as soon as we know information our stakeholders should know as well. Those who support us will be the most informed donors of any charity in the UK.

"It's a brave move but there's nothing to hide so we're not exposing ourselves. It'll be a warts and all update and not a PR statement. Whatever highs and lows we experience we want to tell people and we won't be papering over any cracks."

The first report, covering April to June and now available at the above web link, shows that the Hospice had 72 inpatient unit admissions during this period and 136 outpatients.  Other key stats were -

* 43 children had bereavement counselling

* 14 adults received counselling

* 577 patients had therapies

* 96 people received spiritual support

The Hospice received £550k income from raised funds; £296k in legacy gifts and £183k from the NHS which contributes 16 per cent of funding, one of the lowest percentages in the country with hospices receiving between 30-50 per cent on average.

The Hospice had 258 positive comments in writing and no complaints.

Some 78 community events took place, attended by 1,416 people, while 23 people undertook personal challenges and overall 1,648 people supported the charity's work.

Of money raised, 77 per cent was spent on delivering end-of-life care; three per cent on medication and one per cent on the new Hospice @Home service. It left 19 per cent spent on raising funds, including admin, governance, finance and fundraising mechanics.

Some 22 volunteers were recruited; 40 left; six new staff members were taken on, with one departure.

Mr Pyrah added: "Our finances were in line with budgets, but with £7,500 a day needed to be raised to provide core care costs, it's a never-ending battle to bring in revenue which can be converted into high quality end-of-life palliative care."