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Palliative Care: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 18th October 2018.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of children's palliative care in (a) the north west and (b) Wirral in each of the last eight years.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 11 October 2018.

The correct answer should have been:

No specific assessment has been made of provision or patient population in Wirral or the north west. As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care, is a local matter, over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly. The only exception to this are a small number specialist paediatric palliative care inpatient services, commissioned nationally by NHS England from ten centres eight centres across England as part of its remit to deliver specialised services.

Much of the routine palliative care patients receive will be provided either in outpatient or community settings, by nurses, community teams or general practitioners as part of general NHS services provision, rather than as an identified palliative care service. In such services, data are either not available or does not identify palliative treatment. In addition, social and voluntary sector organisations can provide additional support to patients at the end of life. Therefore, figures for the total cost of palliative care service for children nationally, or across local areas, is not available. Decisions regarding referral to local palliative care services will be made on the basis of clinical need.

The following table shows information regarding funding provided via the Children’s Hospice Grant to hospices in the North and in Wirral over the last eight years. Nationally, children’s hospices are receiving £11 million in 2018/19 through the Children’s Hospice Grant, which is awarded annually and administered by NHS England.

North west

Wirral

2011/12

£1,522,944

£353,306

2012/13

£1,522,944

£353,306

2013/14

£1,562,576

£353,306

2014/15

£1,562,576

£362,500

2015/16

£1,562,576

£362,500

2016/17

£1,562,576

£362,500

2017/18

£1,562,576

£362,500

2018/19

£1,562,576

£362,500

Notes:

- The children’s hospice grant programme provides a general contribution to the operating costs for hospices. It does not pay for actual services for patients in specified areas. Therefore, it is not possible to reconcile the grant payment to actual activity delivered within any geographical area. Neither does the grant pay specifically for specialised or non-specialised services as it is a general contribution.

- For this analysis for the grant figure for the North West includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria based hospices.

- The Wirral figure is for a single hospice.

- Local NHS commissioners also provide funding to children’s hospices which is a mixture of grant funding and activity based payments. Due to the low value of this funding this is not routinely recorded and so is not readily available.

- Local authorities also provide some funding to some hospices, but this information is not held by NHS England.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

No specific assessment has been made of provision or patient population in Wirral or the north west. As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care, is a local matter, over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly. The only exception to this are a small number specialist paediatric palliative care inpatient services, commissioned nationally by NHS England from ten centres eight centres across England as part of its remit to deliver specialised services.

Much of the routine palliative care patients receive will be provided either in outpatient or community settings, by nurses, community teams or general practitioners as part of general NHS services provision, rather than as an identified palliative care service. In such services, data are either not available or does not identify palliative treatment. In addition, social and voluntary sector organisations can provide additional support to patients at the end of life. Therefore, figures for the total cost of palliative care service for children nationally, or across local areas, is not available. Decisions regarding referral to local palliative care services will be made on the basis of clinical need.

The following table shows information regarding funding provided via the Children’s Hospice Grant to hospices in the North and in Wirral over the last eight years. Nationally, children’s hospices are receiving £11 million in 2018/19 through the Children’s Hospice Grant, which is awarded annually and administered by NHS England.

North west

Wirral

2011/12

£1,522,944

£353,306

2012/13

£1,522,944

£353,306

2013/14

£1,562,576

£353,306

2014/15

£1,562,576

£362,500

2015/16

£1,562,576

£362,500

2016/17

£1,562,576

£362,500

2017/18

£1,562,576

£362,500

2018/19

£1,562,576

£362,500

Notes:

- The children’s hospice grant programme provides a general contribution to the operating costs for hospices. It does not pay for actual services for patients in specified areas. Therefore, it is not possible to reconcile the grant payment to actual activity delivered within any geographical area. Neither does the grant pay specifically for specialised or non-specialised services as it is a general contribution.

- For this analysis for the grant figure for the North West includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria based hospices.

- The Wirral figure is for a single hospice.

- Local NHS commissioners also provide funding to children’s hospices which is a mixture of grant funding and activity based payments. Due to the low value of this funding this is not routinely recorded and so is not readily available.

- Local authorities also provide some funding to some hospices, but this information is not held by NHS England.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.