BOSSES at two Worcester hospices say patients could lose out if people continue to play the new Health Lottery.

Mark Jackson, chief executive of St Richard’s Hospice, and David Strudley, chief executive of Acorns, have written to the managers of Tesco, WH Smith and Sainsbury’s stores across south Worcestershire to complain about the equal prominence given to the new Health Lottery and National Lottery in their stores.

Ideally they would both like to see people buying a ticket for south Worcestershire’s Hospices Lottery, but as a second choice they say the National Lottery at least gives more of its profits to charity, including hospices.

They are concerned that the new Health Lottery gives less profit to good causes and is yet to name the charities it will benefit.

St Richard’s and Acorns each receive £70,000 a year from the local Hospices Lottery, but there are fears that this income could be seriously affected if people choose to play the new Health Lottery instead.

The Health Lottery donates just 20p from each £1 paid to charities which have not yet been indentified, according to the letter.

The National Lottery gives 28p to charity and pays 12p to the Government in taxes.

In the letter, Mr Jackson and Mr Strudley say: “We are very concerned indeed. At a time when charity fund-raising is proving exceedingly hard, that money that would otherwise have come to the hospices will be diverted to this lottery.

“We truly appreciate your support now and in the past and urgently request that this decision is reviewed because of the potentially damaging impact upon local charities.”

Dawn Scott, manager for the Hospices Lottery, said: “With the NHS providing only a small proportion of our funding, we depend upon our lottery. We’re urging people who care about their local hospice to say ‘no’ to the Health Lottery.”

The Hospices Lottery “No to the Health Lottery” campaign is being supported by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the Help the Hospices charity.

David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, said: “Since the early 1990s hospice lotteries have been an important source of income for hospices across the UK and together raise nearly £50 million a year.”

No one from the Health Lottery was available to comment.

For more information about the Hospices Lottery, call 01905 760910 or 760909 or e-mail SWHLottery@strichards.org.uk

The health Lottery have since issued this statement to me

The Health Lottery Hi Simon Preston, rather than taking cash, The Health Lottery is creating new funding for charities in the health sector. We believe that there isn’t a conflict between local hospice lotteries and The Health Lottery. But we do recognise the concern, which is why we are working with the Hospice Lotteries Association and Help the Hospices to address their concerns.

My article has had a number of complaints and has even been reported to Facebook and Twitter as a virus and  containing threats in order to stop people reading it.

I can only take one guess of who is behind it

But luckily National Newspapers are publishing stories sadly not because of a moral issue but because the Health Lottery is run by the owner of the Express Newspaper and Channel 5.

Since i wrote this article the Daily Mail have taken up the cause  and done some digging and found out far more than i did.

 Before you go out and buy a ticket have a read of a couple of articles the Daily Mail have done on the Health Lottery.