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Call for fair and sustainable short break funding

News and comment

Short breaks for families caring for a child who may not reach adulthood mean more than just a holiday – they provide vital respite and help families cope with the pressure of providing round the clock care for their children. These families rely on frequent short breaks with specialist care and support to enable them to spend time as a family – recharging batteries, making memories with the seriously ill child and spending quality time with brothers and sisters. However, too few local authorities fund these crucial services for children with complex conditions, meaning families struggle and will often need more expensive emergency support from health or social care.

For these families, short breaks are provided by a range of organisations, including children’s hospices. This Children’s Hospice Week (11-17 May) we are calling on the new government to ensure that there is fair and sustainable funding for short breaks through a new, ring-fenced fund, allocated to local authorities in England. Without this, families – many of whom are already at breaking point – risk losing out on the support they need.

Signed by

Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO, Together for Short Lives and 28 children’s hospice organisations in England:

  1. Peter Branson, Chief Executive, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice
  2. David Burland, Chief Executive, Shooting Star Chase
  3. Graham Butland, Chief Executive, East Anglia Children’s Hospices
  4. Ryan Campbell, Chief Executive, Demelza Hospice Care for Children
  5. Andy Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People
  6. Claire Cardy, Chief Executive, Ellenor
  7. Georgina Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Derian House Children’s Hospice
  8. Clare Edwards, Interim Chief Executive, Helen and Douglas House
  9. Martin Edwards, CEO, Julia’s House, the Dorset & Wiltshire Children’s Hospices
  10. James Ellam, Chief Executive, St Oswald’s Hospice
  11. Peter Ellis, Chief Executive, Richard House Children’s Hospice
  12. Eddie Farwell, Chief Executive, Children’s Hospice South West
  13. Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive, Hope House Children’s Hospices
  14. David Houston, Chief Executive, Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services
  15. Mike Keel, Chief Executive, Keech Hospice Care
  16. Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, Chief Executive, Butterwick Hospice Care
  17. Hugh Lowson, Chief Executive, Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice
  18. Mike McDonald, Chief Executive, The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice
  19. Angela Monaghan, Chief Executive, Martin House Children’s Hospice
  20. Joanne Page, General Manager, James Hopkins Trust
  21. Mike Palfreman, Chief Executive, Haven House
  22. David Pastor, CEO, Claire House Children’s Hospice
  23. Jenny Provin, Chief Executive, Rennie Grove Hospice Care
  24. Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice
  25. Chris Robinson, Chief Executive, Naomi House Children’s Hospice
  26. Andy Smith, Chief Executive, Havens Hospices
  27. Joan Stainsby, Executive Trustee, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice
  28. David Strudley CBE FRSA, CEO, Acorns Children’s Hospice

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