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Nursing jobs safe at HIV charity

A flagship HIV service has a more certain future following the support of local campaigners and charities. More than 10,600 have signed a petition to save the Sussex Beacon from closure and the charity is in talks about further support.
Jasson Warriner-tile-DG.jpg

The future of a flagship HIV charity is looking more secure following a huge surge of support from the community and organisations.

More than 10,600 people have signed a petition to save the Sussex Beacon from the threat of closure brought by funding changes.

The charity's 46 members of staff, who include 14 nurses, have also had the threat of redundancy lifted following a restructure.

National HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust has also reached out to the Brighton-based charity, which provides specialist support to people living with HIV, and marks its 25th anniversary this year.

The two organisations are now in talks about the possibility of sharing resources such as finance and IT functions.

Sector in decline

The Sussex Beacon clinical services director Jason Warriner, who is a nurse,

The future of a flagship HIV charity is looking more secure following a huge surge of support from the community and organisations.


Sussex Beacon clinical services director Jason Warriner. Picture: David Gee

More than 10,600 people have signed a petition to save the Sussex Beacon from the threat of closure brought by funding changes.

The charity's 46 members of staff, who include 14 nurses, have also had the threat of redundancy lifted following a restructure.

National HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust has also reached out to the Brighton-based charity, which provides specialist support to people living with HIV, and marks its 25th anniversary this year.

The two organisations are now in talks about the possibility of sharing resources such as finance and IT functions.

Sector in decline 

The Sussex Beacon clinical services director Jason Warriner, who is a nurse, said: 'It has been a difficult and stressful few months for staff, but people have carried on doing their jobs, and the feedback from service users has been amazing.

'This threat to funding is what all charities are facing at the moment, especially in the HIV sector. It does feel a bit like we're a sector in decline. If you want to save high quality services, you have to put the funding there.'

The Sussex Beacon chief executive Simon Dowe added: 'I feel like we've taken a real step forward in our campaign to save the charity. There is still a lot of work to do over the coming months to make the Sussex Beacon more sustainable and less reliant on statutory funding, but I’m delighted we have the opportunity to continue supporting local people living with HIV right now.'

Sussex Beacon has running costs of £2.2million per year, of which £650,000 is funded by statutory bodies and the rest via fundraising.

Services under threat

Services were under threat as changes to local commissioning arrangements led to a reduction in statutory funding.

Last year, the Care Quality Commission praised Sussex Beacon for its outstanding care and said it was an 'exceptionally well-led service with a clear vision'.

The Sussex Beacon provides care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services.

The campaign to save it has won the backing of cross-party politicians and celebrities including Brighton-based DJ Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, and Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood.


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