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The postcode lottery of care must end: our statement on today’s BBC News article

News and comment

This morning, BBC News published a hugely important article, showing how many families across the country caring for severely disabled children cannot access the continuing care they qualify for because of where they live. It isn’t right that their access to this lifeline care depends on where they live, and we are working to end this postcode lottery.

Commenting on this morning’s BBC News story, Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:

“Today’s findings from BBC are crucial and reinforce our previous and current research into the postcode lottery of care facing families of seriously ill children across the country. Families are falling through the gaps, and it cannot continue.

“Many children and young people who qualify for this support have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and it simply isn’t right that access to NHS Continuing Care depends on where they live.

“The UK Government and NHS England must fill the £300 million annual children’s palliative care funding gap and make sure local NHS bodies have the resources they need to fund continuing care for children and young people. Ministers need to invest in education and training to make sure there are enough professionals with the skills and experience needed to fulfill care packages and provide complex support to seriously ill children. The UK Government has to hold local NHS bodies to much greater account for how they plan and fund this vital care for children and families.

“When a child’s life is likely to be short, they and their families should be able to focus on making the most of every moment they have together. They should not have to fight to access the care that every seriously ill child deserves.”

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