Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Hospice cuts due to Iceland cash

Naomi House logo
Naomi House had nearly 6m in the UK division of a collapsed Icelandic bank

A children's hospice has decided to suspend its community outreach service over uncertainty about cash invested in a failed Icelandic bank.

Naomi House in Sutton Scotney, Hampshire, has 5.7m tied up with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.

The board met on Tuesday night and agreed unanimously to suspend the Hospice at Home service, in which staff give care to dying children at home.

Chief executive Ray Kipling said its residential service was unaffected.

"We were just about to expand this service out, give more support to people in their own homes... and now we've had to put it on hold," Mr Kipling told BBC Radio Wiltshire.

"We are really very annoyed about it.

"The next step for us is to rack the pressure up on the government."

In a statement, Professor Khalid Aziz, chairman of Naomi House, said: "As a result of a situation, not of our making, we cannot deliver a vital service that we usually provide.

"We simply cannot accept that the government will let this situation continue and we urge that they give assurances that our funds will be returned in full, immediately."

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, has called on the government to help.

Ms Miller said charities were given reassurances that "special arrangements" would be made for them, but now it appeared the hospice may not be eligible for protection.

The hospice looks after terminally-ill children in its home county and also Berkshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire.

Mr Kipling said the charity would meet with the Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander next week to discuss the situation.

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