VOLUNTEERS at a cash-strapped hospice have criticised trustees for deciding to close the centre at short notice.
In a letter sent to the Advertiser, volunteers at Coleshill's Rushymead Day Care Hospice, in Amersham, spelled out their anger at the decision to close the hospice this Saturday.
Seriously ill patients and their families were given just weeks to find some-where else to get the care they need.
Rushymead is run by Chiltern Hills Charity Trust. Marci Fitchew has been a volunteer for seven years.
She fumed: "They never disclosed anything so we don't know what fundraising's been done. We could have helped.
"The patients are absolutely devastated.
"There's been no communication between the trustees and us - we don't think it's been handled very well at all."
Carol Hance, whose husband, Ted, is a patient at the centre, said: "We're all very upset. We knew nothing at all about it until we got the letter.
"I'm annoyed at trustee Pam Appleby for saying we were aware. The trustees might have been, but certainly the staff and the patients were not. Everybody was dumbfounded. They don't want to travel far to somewhere else.
"I'm hoping to get Ted into the Red Cross Day Centre in Amersham. We've passed on our details and they've said they'll be in touch."
Rushymead has been running for 20 years and has been providing care for up to 40 elderly and sick patients but needs a six-figure sum to continue.
Pam Appleby strongly refutes any accusations of mismanagement.
She said: "They're very embittered, but they don't understand I'm as sad as they are.
"There's been no mismanagement. We've got two senior solicitors and a very experienced accountant on the board.
"Every year our accounts are assessed by the Charity Commission and I can assure you if anything untoward was going on, they'd be down on you like a sack of bricks."
She added: "The reason they weren't told sooner is because it's a confidential staff matter.
"We've been fundraising for the whole time - money has been coming in regularly but just not enough. I don't think they could have done anything to help.
"We've got to close on April 30. We've done everything we can to keep it open."
The Charity Commission has confirmed there have been no complaints about the hospice.