The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt is being urged to take action after an HIV charity in England signalled it could close due to crippling funding cuts.
HIV charity, Sussex Beacon says it could be forced close by June due to funding cuts from the NHS. The charity which was formed in 1992 faces a “very real risk” of being shuttered after its core funding was reduced by the NHS. The charity currently costs £2 million a year to run. Trustees from the charity say they cannot continue to absorb these cuts.
The charity, which is based in Brighton, serves around 500 people per year who are living with HIV and AIDS related illnesses. It has already announced it is to close its psychological services due to lack of funding.
- How gay-friendly is Theresa May’s Cabinet?
- Gay sex health charity faces uncertain future after funding cuts
- LGBT mental health charity shuts for the last time
The closure of the vital service has been called devastating by Brighton’s MP, Caroline Lucas who called on the government to make an “urgent intervention” to stop the charity from closing.
Caroline Lucas said,
“The closure of the Sussex Beacon would be devastating for service users, staff and volunteers. The importance of the work being done by this vital service for people with HIV cannot be overstated – and I have written to the government asking for an urgent intervention to prevent any closure. I know that those involved with the Sussex Beacon will not let this service be slashed without a fight, and I’ll be continuing to be closely in touch with them and standing with them every step of the way.”
In 2016 the LGBT+ mental health charity PACE was forced to close after funding cuts were made to local authority budgets. It had been in operation for 31 years before its closure.
THEGAYUK.com reached out to Jeremy Hunt’s office for comment.