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Support for Life-shortening Conditions — [Andrew Percy in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Conservative, Pudsey 9:30 am, 7th June 2016

I take that point entirely. In this debate I want the issue to be considered carefully, because it seems perverse for a child to be too young to get the support they really need.

Medical advances thankfully mean that more young people with life-shortening conditions are living into adulthood. That should of course be celebrated but, as I have said, the transition from children’s services to adult services can be daunting and is often not joined up. There is currently a distinct lack of age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate palliative care services to meet the growing demand, so again I ask the Minister whether he will look into providing seed funding to voluntary sector organisations so that they can set up age-appropriate services for young people transitioning from children’s services to adult services.

I end by paying tribute to all the organisations, including Together for Short Lives, and all the people who were involved with Children’s Hospice Week a couple of weeks ago. Those dedicated people are really quite superb. I could never have done my job at Martin House or at Hope House without their tremendous effort. Their reputation helped us to raise the money we needed, and we should all pay tribute to the tremendous work they do. I hope that today’s debate will mean that we can all work together so that things can change for those 49,000 children and young people who are battling with the most difficult issues that we could possibly imagine.