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I beg to move,
That this House
has considered support for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.
Mr Percy, may I say what a pleasure it is to serve under your chairmanship for the first time? [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]
Prior to entering Parliament, I spent most of my working life in the hospice movement, with both adults and children. I worked in hospices, including Hope House in Oswestry; East Lancashire hospice, which cares for adults in the east Lancashire area; and Martin House children’s hospice, which cares for children in the Yorkshire area. During that time, I saw children and their families at their most vulnerable, looking for any kind of solace in what are probably the most challenging circumstances that any of us could possibly imagine.
In my 14 years working in the sector, I saw the hospice movement adapt and grow to meet the needs of children and young people as medical technology and provision developed. That growth was achieved by listening and putting the patients first at all times. However, unfortunately, there are still cases across the broader palliative care sector where that does not always happen, and that is why this debate is so important. There are currently 49,000 children and young people—and the number is rising—living in the UK with life-shortening conditions.