Children’s hospices will be able to deliver improved care to children who most need it as a result of £27 million worth of funding announced yesterday by the Department of Health.
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt announced the funding which will be spread over the next three years and will allow hospices to provide help for families at home, planned and emergency respite care and where necessary end of life care in hospices.
“Where care is provided well, we can help make the hardest experience in the world bearable, but we need to bring elsewhere in the country up to the standard of the best,” said Hewitt.
The funding will begin this financial year and help expand the role hospices play in the administering of children’s palliative care.
Between 2000 and 2004, almost 15,000 children and young people died in England and a quarter of those young people would have needed palliative care.
Hewitt will work with the Association of Children’s Hospices to distribute the new funding.
ACH chief executive Barbara Gelb said: “This will save children’s hospices in England from having to cut services and enable them to help far more children.
“It will also free them up to develop new partnerships with local health and social services so that children and families can get the palliative care they want wherever they live,” she added.