Hidden Savings for the public purse

A new report published today by the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity calculates that the family support it offers saves the health and social care system at least £2 million each year.

Rainbow Trust provides around the clock specialist emotional and practical support for families with seriously ill children. Their family support workers provide tailored care for each family to meet their needs - whether that is helping a family attend a medical appointment, supporting siblings or a range of other activities to support the family.

The charity supports more than 2,000 families across England and has calculated the cost savings  by estimating the expenditure required of the public sector if their support was not in place. Despite the immense value of their work, they receive just three percent of their funding from the state.

The Hidden Savings report echoes the findings of Together for Short Lives’ report on statutory funding for children’s palliative care charities in England, which found that the amount each organisation receive is on a downward trajectory and that local authorities provide just one percent of the money they need to deliver children’s palliative care.

Commenting on the new report, Shaun Walsh, Director of External Relations at Together for Short Lives said:

“This excellent report demonstrates the tremendous value of voluntary sector children’s palliative care organisations. These charities provide a lifeline support for families, which would otherwise have to be provided by the state. However, they receive very little from the state in return for this invaluable work and our own research shows that this funding is falling each year.

Without charities like Rainbow Trust, there would be a huge deficit of support for seriously ill children and families. Together for Short Lives is pressing the government to make sure that the forthcoming green paper on social care funding recognises this and includes additional funding for children’s social care. 

This is not just a challenge for an ageing population - the needs of children, young people and their families must also be recognised in the social care debate if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.  The evidence from Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity suggests that there is an opportunity for government to learn about what works in this area to direct funds accordingly so that care be delivered around the needs of families and in a cost-effective way.”


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