Response to the Queen’s Speech from Together for Short Lives
Following today’s Queen’s Speech, UK children’s palliative care charity, Together for Short Lives, has called on the government not to overlook the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-shortening conditions as it seeks to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.
In its programme for 2016/17, the government has announced plans to transform the life chances of disadvantaged children and their families and will include developing a new set of indicators for measuring them.
The Queen’s Speech included a bill to improve children’s social work, by introducing more demanding professional standards, and by setting up a specialist regulator for the profession. It also included a bill to make sure that all children and young people, regardless of location, prior attainment or background get an excellent education.
The Queen’s Speech also announced a Small Charities Donation Bill which, in part, will simplify the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme – this has the potential to benefit our members, many of which rely on public charitable donations to support their work.
Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives, said:
“The Prime Minister’s focus on improving life chances signals an important opportunity – we want to make sure that the life chances of children with life shortening conditions are recognised and included in that work. These children are often forgotten in legislation and policy. Ministers now have a golden opportunity to support these vulnerable children with complex conditions who so often do not have the chance to achieve the outcomes they could do in their short lives.
"As we approach Children’s Hospice Week next week (23-29 May), we are keen to work with the government to bring about the best quality of life and the best quality of death for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.