Derian House Children’s Hospice is joining UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives in calling on the government and the NHS to protect and extend children’s hospice funding in England #ForTheChildren. The call comes as Together for Short Lives releases a new report to mark Children’s Hospice Week (20-26 June) which shows patchy NHS funding for children’s hospices in England as costs rise due to inflation and workforce shortages. Lifeline hospice care for seriously ill children and young people could be put at risk if NHS England do not commit to providing the Children’s Hospice Grant as a central grant beyond 2023/24.
Together for Short Lives welcomes the planned increase in the NHS England grant to £21million in 2022/23 and then £25million in 2023/24. However, officials are refusing to commit to protecting and extending the grant as funding stream distributed centrally by NHS England after 2023/24.
The report, published today, highlights the important progress made in NHS funding for children’s hospices in recent years. The government and then NHS England have provided a central grant to children’s hospices since 2007, which in 2021/22 was worth a total of £17million. On average, it represented around one pound in every six of spent by children’s hospices on the care and support they provide (15%).
On average, children’s hospices expect their charitable expenditure to grow by over one fifth (22%) between 2021/22 and 2022/23. Children’s hospices in England have higher vacancy rates relative to the NHS as inflation rises and children’s hospices compete with other health providers to recruit and retain the staff they need, children’s hospices now rely on the larger Children’s Hospice Grant.
David Robinson, Chief Executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice said, “The children’s hospice grant is a huge contributor to our finances, making sure we can deliver the very best palliative and end of life care to children across the North West. We are hugely grateful for NHS England in providing this grant and it is vital that they continue to do so in the years to come.”