Today we are launching a public campaign asking Theresa May to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant, which helps fund children’s hospices – vital services that seriously ill children and families rely on.
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 (22% in 2015/16 compared to 23% in 2014/15 and 27% in 2013/14). Meanwhile adult hospices receive 33%. Without increased funding, children’s hospices may need to cut vital services for children.
Following the 3.4% NHS funding boost announced by the Prime Minister last month, we are asking that the government uses some of this extra money to:
- increase the NHS England Children’s Hospice Grant to £25 million a year
- bring about parity of funding between children’s and adult hospices in England
- develop a funded, cross-departmental government children’s palliative strategy for England
You can support our campaign by adding your name to our petition today.
“There is an unprecedented demand for children’s palliative care, and funding is failing to keep pace,” says Andy Fletcher, CEO of Together for Short Live. “We cannot fail these children, and that’s why we are asking Prime Minister to use a small part of £20billion boost in NHS funding to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant to £25 million – and 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.”
on average children's hospices received just one fifth of their income from the state in 2015/16
Toby Porter, the CEO Acorns Children’s Hospice, which runs three children’s hospices in the Midlands added: “The Children’s Hospice Grant is a genuinely critical source of income for our sector and directly translates into vital services delivered to children and their families. But, welcome medical advances mean we are caring for more children and young people with more complex health issues over longer periods of time, and families are relying on children’s hospices more and more. Hospices are the only places families can turn to that bring together the facilities and experience they need to cope with the huge medical, physical and emotional challenges they face, every single day. In the light of the welcome news about the increased investment in our NHS, we hope and expect NHS England to recognise that children’s hospices face exactly the same cost pressures as the wider NHS, and to therefore take the opportunity to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant at its next renewal in April 2019.”