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Families cared for by Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall offered a lifeline

News and comment

Together for Short Lives has welcomed the very good news that Black Country families using the vital services of Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall have been offered a lifeline, with the decision to close the hospice put on hold for four months. It means that the hospice in Walsall can stay open until at least the end of March 2020.

Acorns has made this decision after receiving a clear commitment of significant new funding from NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the Black Country. NHS England’s recent move to ring fence the Children’s Hospice Grant and increase it to £25million by 2023/24 has also provided a welcome boost.

Acorns say that postponing their proposal to close the Walsall Hospice will give the charity time to launch a major public fundraising appeal to raise the funds they need to save the hospice.

Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives, said:

“This is excellent news for the seriously ill children and their families who use Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall. Many of them have campaigned hard in Parliament and in the media for the service to remain open. The passion they have shown for Walsall is testament to the fantastic care that Acorns staff and volunteers have provided there for 20 years.

“I commend the local NHS CCGs for providing much-needed financial support, in addition to NHS England for deciding to protect and increase the Children’s Hospice Grant. This, allied with money raised by Acorns’ amazing local community, has meant that Acorns has been able to take this decision.

“Like Acorns, other children’s hospice organisations across England need sustainable funding from NHS CCGs and local authorities to maintain their services and help them plan for the future. I call on the government and NHS England to hold CCGs and councils to account for the money they spend on children’s hospices – and make sure that it increases to meet the growing demand for care.”

“This is excellent news for the seriously ill children and their families who use Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall. Many of them have campaigned hard in Parliament and in the media for the service to remain open. The passion they have shown for Walsall is testament to the fantastic care that Acorns staff and volunteers have provided there for 20 years.

Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives

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