Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Sign our petition to fund lifeline care for seriously ill children

Mum with baby

Together for Short Lives has launched a petition calling on the Government to use some of the recent £20 billion NHS funding boost to fund the lifeline services that support seriously ill children and their families.

Sign our petition today to help seriously ill children get the help they need.

What’s the problem?

Across England, 40,000 babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions rely on palliative care to enhance their quality of life, manage symptoms and provide their families with much needed help and rest.

As the number of children with life-limiting conditions increases, demand for children’s palliative care is growing. But the funding for services hasn’t kept pace with this demand and has become a postcode lottery. Whether or not families can access the care they need from hospitals, children’s hospices or community teams, depends on where they live.

Children’s hospices are charities, and only receive about 20% of their funding from the state, far less than adult hospices. And on average, the overall amount of statutory funding they receive has been falling year on year since 2013. This real-terms cut in funding has already impacted services at the majority of hospices.

The National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has calculated that investing £12.7 million in end of life care for infants, children and young people, would release non-cash savings worth £34.7 million back into the NHS in England. So it is not only right that the government contributes more to the costs incurred by palliative care charities, but it makes financial sense.

What is Together for Short Lives doing about it?

In June, the Prime Minister announced an annual NHS funding increase of 3.4% in each of the next five years – a total of £20.5 billion, in real terms, per year.

We have launched a petition urging the government to use some of the NHS funding boost to:

  • Increase the children’s hospice grant to £25 million per year. This would cover 14% of the cost of the clinical care provided by children’s hospices, equal to the contribution originally made by the Department of Health when the grant was first awarded in 2006.
  • Address the funding disparity between children’s and adult hospices. Children’s hospices currently receive only 22% of their funding from statutory sources, compared to 33% in adult hospices.
  • Put in place a funded children’s palliative care strategy which makes sure that seriously ill children can access the care and support they need, when and where they need it.

We’ll be taking our petition to Downing Street in the Autumn, compelling the government to fund, not fail, seriously ill children.

What can you do?

Please sign our petition to help fund lifeline services for seriously ill children.

Campaigning for change