Beacon of Hope: Hywel Dda Health Board in palliative care talks

Elizabeth Murphy with a paratrooper Elizabeth Murphy did a parachute jump for her charity in 2005

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Health chiefs are still in talks over the future of palliative care in north Ceredigion three months after a charity helping terminally ill people closed.

Beacon of Hope, which ran hospice-at-home services, went into voluntary liquidation with the loss of 17 full and part-time jobs in December.

Hywel Dda Health Board said it was in "active discussions with potential future providers".

It said it was continuing to work with statutory groups so care continued.

Beacon of Hope's nursing services were funded by the health board, but its ancillary services relied upon public donations.

The charity was founded in 2000 by retired teacher Elizabeth Murphy, and had offices in Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Machynlleth.

Kerry Bailey, of liquidators PKF, said in December that Beacon of Hope's collapse would have no impact on its patients and they had been placed in health officials' care.

'Sustainable' services

A Hywel Dda Health Board spokesperson said: "We are in active discussions with potential future providers and continue to work closely with statutory and third sector partners to ensure that specialist palliative care services continue.

"Further work will be undertaken to build on the expertise that already exists and will reflect the changing need of the population whilst ensuring that the services we deliver are appropriate, robust and sustainable for the people of Ceredigion."

Mrs Murphy ran the Beacon of Hope's first office from her home in Borth, near Aberystwyth, and the charity was thought to have helped hundreds of people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Her work was recognised in 2008 with an MBE for services to the community in Ceredigion in the Queen's birthday honours list.

PKF said the charity relied heavily on donations and had cash flow problems.

It said Beacon of Hope was well respected and accepted referrals from the local health board.

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