Together for Short Lives has launched a petition calling on the Government to use some of the recent £20 billion NHS funding boost to fund the lifeline services that support seriously ill children and their families. Toby Porter, Chief Executive for Acorns Children’s Hospice, shares his reflections on why increasing the Children’s Hospice Grant is so vital. You can support our call to boost funding to the hospice and palliative care services that children and families rely on by signing our petition.
Acorns Children’s Hospice, as the UK’s largest children’s hospice charity, has been in the very privileged position of being a major recipient of NHS England’s Children Hospice Grant. This was introduced in 2010 out of recognition that the Government can and should support the outstanding work done by the country’s children’s hospices. Acorns is a very proud partner of the NHS, and we believe that we contribute tremendous together to the lives of life-limited and life-threatened children, and their families.
In the light of the welcome news about the increased investment in our NHS, we obviously hope and expect NHS England to also take the opportunity to increase the Children’s Hospice Grant. We are facing exactly the same cost pressures as our NHS partners, and we have the same wish and need to reward the outstanding care provided by our nurses and care assistants with salary increases over the next few years.
The Children’s Hospice Grant has been a huge success. It is a genuinely critical source of income for our sector and directly translates into vital services delivered to children and their families, at a time when demand for these services is increasing.
Children’s hospices are grappling with a number of significant challenges. Medical advances mean we are caring for more children and young people with more complex health issues, over a longer period of time.
Coupled with this, families are relying on children’s hospices more and more. These services are often 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.
On behalf of the children, young people and families to whom we help give a voice; I hope the Government will take the time to listen, and respond positively to this fair and logical request.