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Palliative care: Children’s hospices to receive funding boost

Funding for children’s hospices will rise to £25 million a year, NHS England has announced

Funding for children’s hospices will rise to £25 million a year, NHS England has announced.

NHS England’s hospice grant programme currently provides £12 million a year for children’s hospices, helping to provide care and support to children and their families close to home in their final days. As part of the NHS long term plan, funding will increase with an additional £13 million going to children’s hospices in 2023/24.

Clinical Commissioning Groups have been asked to provide match funding but NHS England has now guaranteed the investment after campaigners raised concerns.

‘I’m really pleased that NHS England have listened to children’s hospices and families of children with life shortening conditions and have given assurances that this much needed funding increase will go directly to children’s hospices as originally intended,’ said Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Hospice UK.

‘These essential services for some of our most vulnerable children and families are funded mainly from charitable donations and as both the cost and complexity of care continues to rise, we are seeing children’s hospices under increasing threat. This announcement will help make sure these children and families continue to get the support they need and deserve.’

NHS England continues to work with other national organisations and charities through our National End of Life Care programme to support people, including providing guidance on specialist palliative care. NHS England funding will rise over the next five years so that up to £25 million is spent on hospices by 2023/24.

‘There can be no more difficult time for a parent or carer than looking after a child at the end of their life,’ said James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care at NHS England and Improvement. ‘Supporting families when they need it most is a top priority for the NHS and that is why we will ensure that this funding reaches children’s hospices.’