We have welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to spend more on the NHS at Budget 2020 to tackle the growing impact of COVID-19. But we are disappointed that ministers are not doing more to make sure that children and young people with life-limiting illness and their families can access the 24/7 palliative care they need.
Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:
“I welcome the Chancellor’s investment in the NHS at a time when it is under considerable pressure from COVID-19. It is vital that this investment ensures that services are able to manage the impact with appropriate resources, including those in the voluntary sector. We know that many families of seriously ill children are anxious about the impact of COVID-19 and so this additional funding is an important boost for stretched services.”
“However, looking beyond the immediate here and now, what seriously ill children and their families needed today was a long-term commitment to invest in round the clock palliative care in hospitals, homes and children’s hospices. They also desperately needed ministers to address the children’s palliative care workforce crisis. It is therefore crucial that the government now uses part of the additional £6 billion announced for the NHS to fund these lifeline services, when and where children need them. This should include resources to recruit more specialist paediatricians and children’s nurses.”
“Children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions rely on their families and a wide range of professionals to care for them. I am disappointed therefore that the Chancellor has not used Budget 2020 to fill the annual £434 million gap in local authority funding for social care for disabled children. This continued growing gap is putting more strain on families, many of whom are already at breaking point. More funding for social care, including short breaks, must be a priority in the Treasury’s forthcoming spending review to guarantee that vulnerable children with life-limiting conditions receive the support they need.”
More funding for social care, including short breaks, must be a priority in the Treasury’s forthcoming spending review to guarantee that vulnerable children with life-limiting conditions receive the support they need.Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives