Together for Short Lives
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Every child has the right to 24/7 palliative and end of life care

News and comment

We believe that every child and their family has the right to 24/7 care and support when and where they need it but currently many struggle to access necessary services.

Enriching, holistic care and support gives the whole family caring for a seriously child the chance to have fun, live life and create memories. However, for many caring for the 99,000 seriously ill children across the UK, the basics of family life are impossible due to lack of support, which is vital to make the most of every moment together, whether that’s for years, months or only hours.

Over the next 10 years we are committed to changing this situation so all seriously ill children receive the care and support they need, when they need it by:

  • Ensuring no family faces their journey alone, with more children accessing 24/7 palliative care.
  • Improving the quality of palliative care provision for seriously ill children so families have the best support.
  • Strengthening the sustainability of children’s palliative care so support is there today, tomorrow and every day for families to rely on.

Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive, Together for Short Lives said: “We know that high quality children’s palliative care, provided in hospital, hospice and in the community makes a meaningful difference for families. It gives them priceless time together as a family, doing things that most of us take for granted.

“These children can have very complex and unpredictable conditions and often need 24-hour care, seven days a week. However, care and support is not always available when families need it most, especially at night and at weekends. This can put huge pressure on already exhausted families.

“We have recently launched an ambitious ten-year strategy set to address the inadequacies of care and support for the 99,000 families currently caring for a seriously ill child.

“For too long the needs of these children and their families have been overlooked in the planning and development of health and care policy, leading to critical inconsistency of access to support. This must change. Time is short for these families and access to the right, round the clock support is vital to help families make the most of every moment they have together.”

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