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Acorns 5 year strategy

Acorns vision is that every child and young person in the West Midlands with a life limiting or life threatening condition should receive the care and support they need.

Reports suggests that the number of these children may be considerably higher than previously assessed and it is estimated that there are significantly more than 2,000 children and young people in the region with life limiting or life threatening conditions.

The five year strategy, announced in 2013, aims to increase the numbers that may use our services by 50% to reach 960 and 1,290 respectively by 2018.

Acorns chief executive David Strudley explains: “We intend to care for and support this increased number of children and families through a combination of activities and services.

“Firstly, where necessary and possible, we will expand in-house respite and emergency services, while maintaining the highest quality standards in all we do. A detailed review of our current provision will enable us to decide what is truly appropriate and achievable.

“We will also seek to establish relationships with organisations that may be able to provide similar services or facilities to those offered by Acorns; or develop existing or new partnerships to create new services to meet families’ needs.

“We will also consider what role care in the home can play in our overall provision for the future and will look to develop an extensive ‘At Home’ service that could also offer increased choice for how children and families can be cared for and supported.

“And finally, we will continue to assist those young people that reach 18 in preparing for adulthood and help them to ‘transition’ onto age appropriate adult services. In tandem, we will work on a national level to raise awareness and influence the policy and commissioning agenda in relation to the issue of transition.”

This extensive increase in provision will mean an overall increase in annual care costs of around £4.2m by the end of the five year long term plan period. This will require an increase in overall income of almost 50% by 2018 to meet the costs and also achieve our on-going need to have an appropriate level of cash reserves to act as a buffer for any financial crises.

The strategy plan lays out how we will generate this increase through a variety of income streams over the next five years. It identifies the human and physical resources required over the period to ensure our hospices will be fit for purpose with regard to infrastructure, equipment and appropriately qualified and trained staff.  It also outlines the additional resources needed to ensure the appropriate support is in place to meet targets such as IT, training provision and staff in support departments, fundraising and retail.

Our five enduring principles will underpin the plan to ensure that we:

  • Stay focused on our vision, mission and values to provide an ongoing sense of direction
  • Live within our means, especially by controlling fixed costs
  • Ensure our voice is heeded wherever the cause of palliative care for children and young people needs to be championed
  • Work in partnership with the NHS and local authority commissioners and providers, other charities and like-minded private sector organisations
  • Maximise our sustainable statutory, retail and lottery funding, while maintaining a robust fundraising portfolio and sufficient operational reserves

Read the full five year growth strategy on our publications webpage.

Last year, Acorns supported 876 children and more than 1097 families, including those who are bereaved.

It costs almost £10million a year to run our vital care services in the hospices and community. This would not be possible without the support of people like you to help us to continue to provide care for local children and their families.

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