Funding boost for children’s palliative care in Scotland

Together for Short Lives has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government has committed £30 million funding for CHAS as part of increased investment in children’s palliative care over the next five years.

Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health Wellbeing and Sport, announced the additional funding during the SNP conference on Friday 14 October. The funding, which will commence in 2017/18 will provide approximately half of the agreed running costs of Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

CHAS through its two children’s hospices – Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch –supports children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions across Scotland. CHAS provide a range of services for children and families including short breaks, end of life care and bereavement services through its Hospices. In addition, CHAS offers a home care service -CHAS at Home - which ensures that its hospice service is taken out to communities across Scotland.  And through its Diana Children’s Nurses CHAS is working alongside NHS staff to give families greater choice on where and how their child is cared for.

The additional funding announcement follows research published last year that showed a 50% increase in the number of babies, children and young people who could benefit from palliative care in the past ten years. This funding will enable CHAS to further develop their outstanding services and to reach more of the children and families identified through the research that could benefit from their care and support.

Commenting on the Scottish Government announcement, Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the Scottish Government has taken this radical step towards ensuring sustainable funding for children’s hospices in Scotland. Children’s hospices are voluntary sector organisations and rely heavily on charitable donations to meet their costs.

We know that nationally many children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions are unable to access the services that they need and so we welcome the recognition from the Scottish Government that a degree of statutory investment in these voluntary sector services is vital.

We hope that the governments in Westminster, Stormont and Cardiff Bay will take heed of this investment and re-examine their own funding arrangements for children’s hospices, which fall far short of the level of investment now provided by the Scottish Government.”

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