Hospices: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to additional funding for children’s palliative care announced in the NHS Long-Term Plan, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to children’s hospices in England in 2019-20.

Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the financial sustainability of charitable hospices.

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

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England committed to increase its investment in children’s palliative care over the next five years by match funding clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) who commit to increase their investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services.

Subject to CCGs increasing investment, NHS England will match this by up to £7 million a year by 2023/24. This increase is in addition to the Children’s Hospice Grant, which provides an annual contribution of £11 million. NHS England is currently establishing financial reporting systems to monitor the baseline investment of CCGs in children’s palliative and end of life care services. This will enable match funding payments made to CCGs where the investments are increased above the investment baseline in the previous year. As baselining will be ongoing through 2019/20, and therefore match funding will not be available in this year, NHS England will be increasing the children’s hospice grant to £12 million for this period.

With regards to financial sustainability of hospices, these are primarily charity-funded but receive some statutory funding from CCGS for providing local services. The amount of funding varies between CCGs, but on average adult hospices receive approximately 30% of their overall funding from National Health Service sources. CCGs are responsible for determining the level of NHS-funded hospice care locally and they are responsible for ensuring that the services they commission meet the needs of their local population.

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