Bolton Hospice could cut its number of beds by 40 per cent and slash a range of services without investment, a Bolton MP said, as she called on the Conservative Government to support the sector.

Yasmin Qureshi revealed the hospice is running at a loss of £1.2 million over the course of a debate at Westminster Hall due to a combination of increasing costs and increasing demands.

Bolton Hospice relies on a patchwork of public income and private income and in particular on the contributions of those residents who donate, participate in its lotteries or shop at one of its stores.

In an impassioned speech, in which she remembered the deaths of her brother and her mother, Ms Qureshi called on the Conservative Government to support the sector through the cost of living crisis.

READ MORE: Bolton: Crisis as a quarter live with 'low levels of happiness'.

She said: "The least we can do for those with a terminal diagnosis is to ensure they die with dignity surrounded by loved ones.

"The hospices are there to alleviate emotional, physical and psychological suffering. Their work ensures a dying person's final days are made as peaceful as possible."

The Bolton News: Yasmin Qureshi at Westminster Hall

Bolton Hospice runs a 16-beds in-patient service and other services such as Hospice at Home and a Wellbeing Hub.

Ms Qureshi warned it could cut its number of beds by 40 per cent and slash a range of services without investment.

READ MORE: Bolton: The Breightmet Centre for Autism ordered to close.

Addressing Minister for Social Care Helen Whateley, she said: "The minister must acknowledge if hospices have to close down it will place pressure on the NHS and our hospitals. 

"Because of the cost of living crisis the community is not able to give as much money. I ask the minister to make an exception in the case of hospices and to grant them the money."

The Bolton News: Helen Whateley at Westminster Hall

Ms Whateley said: "As flagged in the 2022 [Health and Social Care] Act, the integrated care boards have responsibility for commissioning, using the budgets they receive through NHS England. 

"I am working to ensure the visibility of the commissioning, to be assured it is taking place, so we can be assured about the availability of end of life care and palliative care for our communities.

"Against the backdrop of these concerns, which I of course recognise and we are discussing, is the strength of hospices in their communities and the importance they are not dependent on the state and NHS funding. 

"They receive some NHS funding, but it is important hospices are successful in fundraising and gaining support from our communities. This is one of the strengths of their model and I want to continue to support it."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.