Hospices: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the financial sustainability of children’s hospices.

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

No recent assessment has been made. The vast majority of hospices were established from charitable and philanthropic donations and are therefore primarily charity-funded and independently run. However, they receive some statutory funding from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and the Government for providing local services. The amount of funding is a local matter.

On average, adult hospices received approximately 30% of their overall funding from National Health Service sources. Proportionally less public funding is received by children’s hospices than adult hospices, and this amounts to around 15%, and this is largely due to differences in their development and non-clinical care they provide.

To compensate for the lower levels of statutory funding children’s hospices receive, NHS England manages the Children’s Hospice Grant, which is awarded and administered annually. The Children’s Hospice Grant will provide a contribution of £12 million in 2019/20.

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England committed to increase its contribution to children’s palliative care over the next five years by match funding CCGs who commit to increase their investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services including children’s hospices. 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. We would expect hospices to be significant beneficiaries of the additional funding, and in many areas, children’s hospices are the main providers of children’s palliative and end of life care services.

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