Merger of National Council for Palliative Care and Hospice UK to be finalised this week

Half of the NCPC's 14 staff have moved to Hospice UK, and the merger will be completed on 1 July

The National Council for Palliative Care will be absorbed into Hospice UK when the charities finalise their merger later this week.

The merger, which will be completed on 1 July, is being carried out to help the two charities expand their work, reduce duplication of effort and build on the already close working relationship between the two organisations, a spokesman for the charities said.

Of the NCPC’s 14 staff, five took voluntary redundancy, two were made redundant and the rest have moved to Hospice UK, which has 57 staff.

The NCPC’s board will be wound up and the new charity will operate under Hospice UK’s name, the spokesman said.

The charities’ boards agreed in March to work towards a formal merger, and said Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, would be acting chief executive of both organisations from 31 May while the merger was finalised.

Bleakley has today been confirmed as chief executive of the merged organisation and Claire Henry, former chief executive of the NCPC, has become director of improvement and transformation at Hospice UK.

Both charities already share a building in London, which will remain the merged charity’s headquarters, the spokesman said.

Hospice UK had an income of £5.9m in the 2016/17 financial year, while the NCPC had an income of £1.4m.

Bleakley said: "We need a bold new approach to caring for adults and children facing life-shortening conditions and confronting the taboo subjects of death and bereavement. This merger will greatly strengthen our ability to do this.

"As we join forces, we are looking at how we can open up good end-of-life care for everyone no matter who you are, where you are or what condition you have."

Baroness Ilora Finlay, outgoing chair of NCPC and now vice-president of Hospice UK, said: "I’m delighted that our organisations are joining forces to further strengthen the voice for excellent palliative and end-of-life care for all.

"By coming together, we will continue to provide a clear vision and an even stronger voice for end-of-life care everywhere, because the most important person in end-of-life care is the person with the life-limiting condition and their family."

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