On the 20th August 2019 the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced a £25million funding boost for hospices and palliative care services in England. The money will support around 200,000 people at the end of their lives.
This funding is in addition to the announcement on 1st June to increase the children’s hospice grant from £12 million to £25 million by 2020/24. The Government is also providing further support for NHS commissioners to shape and deliver services in line with the Government’s End of Life Care Choice Commitment. The Choice Commitment sets out what everyone should expect from the care at the end of life and the actions being taken to make high quality and personalisation a reality for all.
Local MP, Gillian Keegan, said, ‘Hospices give so many people, and their families, peace of mind in their final days. It is wonderful news that the Government is recognising this and investing in this vital care service. I’ve visited St Wilfrid’s several times and I am always thoroughly impressed by the professionalism and caring nature of all those who work there. This funding will make a big difference, but, longer-term we need to develop a more sustainable funding stream for social care and end of life care.’
In Parliament, the MP has been working to improve the care sector through her work on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Social Care, on which she sits as the Co-Chair, with Labour MP, Louise Haigh.
In response to the announcement Alison Moorey, Chief Executive of St Wilfrid’s Hospice said, ‘St Wilfrid's Hospice welcomes the Prime Minister’s pledge of additional funding to support hospice care. It is vital that sustainable hospice funding is secured and that the Government is able to address the long-standing issue of the need to ensure a fair and ongoing contribution towards the costs of end of life care in our community, which is largely funded by voluntary donations.’
‘We appreciate the work carried out by Hospice UK to ensure that the collective voice of hospices is heard so that we can continue to deliver our much-needed services whilst seeking to meet the ever-increasing needs of our community. We look forward to hearing more detail and being involved with how these additional funds can be put to best use’
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock has said the Government will release more detail on the funding in due course and in a letter to MPs said,
Many of us already know the vital role that hospices across England play in providing end of life care, delivering excellent care and contributing to their local communities alongside the NHS. You will also be aware of the dedicated NHS community teams whose nurses are also providing compassionate, holistic care to patients approaching the end of life; supporting their loved ones and carers. Whether care is provided by a hospice or a local NHS service, what is important is that everyone can access high-quality personalised end of life care where and when they need it.