|The Government has pledged extra financial support worth £25 million for hospices in England in recognition of the challenges they are facing.
The announcement follows a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at Downing Street last week to thank hospice front line staff for their work.
In a statement released by 10 Downing Street, the Government has said the new investment will help keep many hospices open – which receive the majority of their funding from the voluntary sector. It will also improve the quality of end of life care, ensuring people die as comfortably as possible. The money will also support the sector in relieving workforce pressures as well as introducing new services – such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams.
During his announcement of the additional funding Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Seeing a loved one nearing the end of their life is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience, so it’s vital that we support our fantastic and hardworking hospice staff to deliver the highest quality palliative care.
“As Prime Minister I am making sure that today our hospices and palliative care services are given a £25 million boost to alleviate the everyday pressures faced on the frontline, helping to ensure they have the resources they need, when they need them.
“It is just the beginning of what I think is a very, very important programme to try to support a vital part of the care package we offer people towards the end of their lives”.
Hospice UK has welcomed the Government’s pledge for additional funding. Commenting in response to the announcement, the charity’s CEO Tracey Bleakley said:
“We are pleased that the Government has responded to Hospice UK’s call for extra funding for charitable hospices in England and recognises that many are currently overstretched, amidst rising service costs and increasing demand for the care they provide.
“While this funding boost is welcome and timely, many charitable hospices are facing grave, financial challenges in the long-term and need to raise over £1billion a year in a very tough fundraising climate. As demand grows and costs increase, the need for funding rises every year. The support pledged today is an important first step to help protect the vital care provided by charitable hospices for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.”
Robert Peston, Chair of Hospice UK, said:
“Many hospices and palliative care providers are facing acute financial pressures and are struggling to meet the growing need for their desperately important services.
“This injection of new funds by the Government could not have come at a more critical time. It will help many, but it will not completely alleviate the serious funding problems facing a swelling number of charitable hospices.”
Hospice UK is now working with the Government on how this funding will be distributed. The charity will also be campaigning to extend this scheme to the devolved nations.
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