Together for Short Lives has welcomed the announcement that NHS England is increasing the children’s hospice grant from £11 million to £25 million.
The increase in funding forms part of NHS England’s long-term plan and follows a campaign from Together for Short Lives and its members, which saw over 6,500 people call for more sustainable funding for hospices in England. The #fundnotfail campaign launched in summer 2018 and called on the government to increase the children’s hospice grant to £25 million, provide parity of statutory funding between children’s and adult hospices, and introduce a children’s palliative care strategy.
Together for Short Lives’ petition was delivered to Downing Street on 11 September last year by representatives from the children’s palliative care sector.
As part of the NHS’s long term plan, additional funding will be available each year over the next five years, increasing by up to £7m a year by 2023/24, if Clinical Commissioning Groups also provide additional match funding.
According to the charity, prior to this funding commitment, children’s hospices received on average 22% of their funding from statutory sources, compared to 33% for adult hospices.
The funding boost will help children’s hospices to maintain and develop their services for the most complex children, and in doing so help reduce pressure on the NHS, keeping children out of hospital longer and supporting the wider family.
Andy Fletcher, CEO of Together for Short Lives, said:
“This is a very welcome boost for children’s hospices which provide such crucial care and support to seriously ill children and their families across England. We know that the number of children with life-limiting conditions is growing and the care and support they need is increasingly complex. I am delighted that NHS England has listened to what we have been saying for some time about the gap in funding for local children’s hospices, which offer a real lifeline, providing vital care and support for families providing 24/7 care.”
“It is now vital that clinical commissioning groups to work closely with the NHS and local children’s hospices to ensure that services are there to support families now and in the future.”
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