Palliative Care

Health written question – answered on 16th January 2013.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps he plans to take to reform palliative care funding and funding for hospices; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what steps he is taking to support hospices during the transition to a new funding system.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Government set out in the coalition agreement a commitment to introduce a new per-patient funding system for palliative care. The new system will apply to ail providers of palliative care, including hospices, and will cover care for both adults and children. To take this work forward the then Secretary of State for Health set up the independent Palliative Care Funding Review (PCFR), which published its report in July 2011. The review made a number of recommendations designed to create a new funding system based on patient need.

Following the recommendations made by the review, we have established eight pilot sites, of which seven cover adult services and one covers children's services. The pilots are collecting the data needed to inform the creation of the new funding system and will test the recommendations set out by the review. The pilot sites began work in April 2012 and are due to run for two years. The aim is to implement a new system in 2015.

We will be working with organisations across the palliative care sector to enable all providers, including hospices, to prepare for the transition to the new system. The Department will be holding events to update national stakeholders of the work of the pilots in March.

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