The Prime Minister has pledged a £25 million cash boost for hospices and palliative care services.
The funding is expected to help facilities both continue and improve the care they provide, and relieve workforce pressures as well as introducing new services such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams.
The announcement follows campaigning from Chief Executive of Hospice UK Tracey Bleakley and its Chair Robert Peston, who recently met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the mounting pressures hospices are dealing with.
It also follows NHS England’s June announcement of its plans to increase the children’s hospice grant to £25 million by 2023/24, from £12 million in 2019/20.
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said:
“We are pleased that the Government has responded to Hospice UK’s call for extra funding for charitable hospices in England and recognises that many are currently overstretched, amidst rising service costs and increasing demand for the care they provide.
“While this funding boost is welcome and timely, many charitable hospices are facing grave, financial challenges in the long-term and need to raise over £1billion a year in a very tough fundraising climate. As demand grows and costs increase, the need for funding rises every year. The support pledged today is an important first step to help protect the vital care provided by charitable hospices for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.”
Robert Peston, Chair of Hospice UK, also commented, saying:
“Many hospices and palliative care providers are facing acute financial pressures and are struggling to meet the growing need for their desperately important services.
This injection of new funds by the Government could not have come at a more critical time. It will help many, but it will not completely alleviate the serious funding problems facing a swelling number of charitable hospices.”
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