THE MARIE Curie charity has made an urgent appeal for funding as it prepares for a surge in dying patients requiring end of life care during the ovid-19 crisis.

End of life patients who do not want to be in hospital need to be moved to a more appropriate setting, as beds in critical care units are urgently required for patients who need lifesaving treatment.

The charity, which relies upon public donations and fundraising events needs to raise £5 million a year to continue to run its essential frontline services across Wales.

However, chief executive Matthew Reed has said the charity’s income has been ‘decimated’ due to the outbreak.

Rachel Moses-Lloyd from Marie Curie in Wales said: “When the NHS and public need us most, we are facing huge difficulties raising our vital funds.

"Along with the cancellation of hundreds of high street and supermarket collections, we’re now losing income from the closure of our charity shops and from cancelled fundraising events."

The Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice in Penarth cares for around 1,000 people each year.

Its manager, Sarah Lloyd-Davies, said: “Across Marie Curie we have provided care to a few terminally ill patients who have tested positive for coronavirus or are suspected of having it and do expect this to continue in future. For reasons of patient confidentiality we are not able to discuss specific cases of care from the hospice or from the community nursing care we provide.

“Our hospice staff and nursing teams across Cardiff and the Vale are very much on the frontline and have an important job in keeping patients out of hospital to relieve pressure on the NHS. That is important now more than ever given the coronavirus crisis. The health and wellbeing of our patients, their loved ones, and our staff is our top priority and across the hospice and community we are taking steps to protect them. This includes the use of PPE and, in-line with other providers of care, including the NHS, we have amended our visiting rules at the hospice.

“With regards PPE, unfortunately, our hospice and community nursing service have been facing the same issues as the NHS in terms of getting all the equipment they need. We are screening patients with a phone call before attending their homes and staff will wear the appropriate PPE equipment during every household visit. However, we can only do this when we have the right PPE equipment available and are grateful to have recently received support from our colleagues at the Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board to gain access to some PPE through their supply, for which we give our thanks.

“However we are always in need of more supplies to continue to provide vital end of life care to people living with a terminal illness, especially at this difficult time.”