In a parliamentary debate on the future of Oxfordshire children’s hospice Helen & Douglas House, MP Layla Moran praised the work of Together for Short Lives in highlighting the funding shortfall and asked whether ministers felt the current system was fair and equitable.
Layla reiterated Together for Short Lives’ call on the government and NHS England to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant to £25million. She also questioned the fairness and transparency of the funding process and acknowledged the difficulty experienced by Helen & Douglas House in bidding for finance from NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Helen & Douglas House, the world’s first children’s hospice, currently receives no funding from the CCG, which is responsible for allocating finance to local health services.
More broadly, the overall amount of statutory funding for charities providing children’s palliative care in England stood at 22% in 2015/16, compared to 33% for adult hospices. The Scottish Government has committed £30million over five years to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland; this amounts to approximately 50% of their charitable costs. You can find out more about the way in which children’s palliative care is funded – and how we would like it to be improved – here.
Together for Short Lives has been campaigning for funding parity between adults’ and children’s hospices and is asking for clarity and consistency in the way CCGs apply funding. Please write to your MP with a request for them to ask ministers to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant to £25million – and to hold CCGs and local authorities to greater account over the way they plan and fund children’s palliative care.