NHS England recognises that children’s palliative and end of life care has not kept pace with growth in clinical care cost or inflation. NHS England’s hospice grant programme currently provides £11 million a year for children’s hospices, helping to provide care and support to children and their families close to home in their final days.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, subject to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) providing match funding, additional funding will be available each year for children’s palliative and end of life care services, with NHS England’s contribution increasing by up to £7 million a year by 2023/24. Therefore, if this is matched by CCGs, total funding will increase over the next five years to £25 million a year by 2023/24.
NHS England has also commissioned Hospice UK to undertake an evaluation of the cost effectiveness of hospice-led interventions in the community. Although there many such care models across England, there is insufficient data on what the most effective approaches are, making it difficult for CCGs to confidently commission these services. This project will examine hospice-led initiatives that appear to be having a positive impact on where people are cared for as well as where they die. The final results are expected for publication shortly.