Prime Minister announces £25m funding boost for hospices

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said hospices will receive a £25 million funding boost to help alleviate frontline pressures.

The announcement follows a reception hosted by the Prime Minister in Downing Street last week for hospice staff.

Mr Johnson (pictured) 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.”

The funding aims to alleviate pressures on hospices who receive the majority of their funding from the voluntary sector.

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.

In June, NHS England announced plans to increase the children’s hospice grant to £25 million by 2023-24, from £12 million in 2019-20.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS is committed to caring “from cradle to grave”.

He added: “This cash boost will protect our precious hospices and palliative care services so people across the country will have the best, most personalised and dignified choices when they die.

“We should expect the highest quality support, so we can spend the last days of our life with our loved ones, dying with dignity in the way that we want to.”

Hospices support more than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions in the UK each year, as well as helping family members with bereavement support.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, welcomed the extra funding which the charity had been calling for.

She added: “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 £1 billion 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.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jonathan Brady / PA Wire.