The head of Prospect Hospice has issued an urgent plea as the charity faces a £1 million hole in its funding.

Chief executive Jeremy Lune says the facility that provides end-of-life care to patients is struggling to continue as costs increase while government funding remains the same.

As a result of this shortfall, the Wroughton-based hospice has halved the amount of inpatient beds from a possible 12 to just six.

On Monday, MPs will meet to discuss hospice funding in Parliament. The hospice hopes that people around Wiltshire will write to their local representative about the issue.

Mr Lune said: “Apart from birth, we are at our most vulnerable when we’re facing death.

“Personalised care like that provided by Prospect Hospice can make a world of difference.

“Prospect Hospice is under threat and in urgent need of a lifeline.

“This is no reflection of how hard our team is working to provide care for people and their families. It’s down to the financial challenges we face as people’s ability to give is affected by the cost-of-living crisis and the NHS funding falls far short of what’s needed.

“While the demand for and cost of delivering our care increases rapidly, the funding we get from the government has remained flat for more than 10 years, meaning we get less year on year.

“This situation is simply not sustainable. To survive and grow our services to meet increasing demand, we need funding we can rely on.”

It costs £8.5 million each year to run Prospect Hospice. The reduction of inpatient beds was described as “devastating” but not enough to close the funding gap.

Prospect Hospice’s website includes a pre-written message that supporters can send to their local MP ahead of the Parliamentary debate on April 15.

Mr Lune added: “While our generous supporters continue to donate and fundraise in these difficult economic times, they shouldn’t be solely responsible for protecting their local hospice services.

“Right now, across England, government funding for hospices does not reflect the cost of services, putting vital end-of-life care at risk.

“We can’t afford to lose Prospect Hospice. The knock-on effect on already overstretched NHS services would be catastrophic, and the gap left by hospices like ours would rob people of their ability to have a good death surrounded by their loved ones.

“It’s so important we act now, while there’s still time for the government to meet its legal obligation to properly fund hospice care in England, and protect this important public service for years to come.”