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Palliative Care: Finance

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Hepburn Stephen Hepburn Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department plans to allocate to end of life care in each of the next five years.

Photo of Stephen Hepburn Stephen Hepburn Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on the funding of hospices; and what levels of funding his Department plans to allocate to palliative care in each financial year until 2025.

Photo of Stephen Hepburn Stephen Hepburn Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on allocating funding to hospices in (a) the North East and (b) the UK; and what level of funding his Department plans to allocate to palliative care in each financial year until 2025.

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

As with the vast majority of National Health Service services, the commissioning of palliative and end of life care is a local matter, over which individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have responsibility. CCGs are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and allocate funding for services to meet those needs from the overall resource allocations they receive.

Much of the palliative care patients receive will be provided either in outpatient or community settings, by nurses, community teams or general practitioners (GPs) as part of general NHS services provision, rather than as an identified palliative care service. In such services, data are either not available or do not identify palliative treatment. In addition, social and voluntary sector organisations can provide additional support to patients and the end of life. Therefore, figures for the total cost or allocation of funding for palliative and end of life care services are not available.

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 CCGs and the Government for providing local NHS services. The majority of decisions regarding the statutory funding hospices receive, are a local matter.

Published in January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan has a commitment to match CCGs up to £7 million from NHS England for Children and Young People’s Palliative and End of Life Care (CYP PEOLC), on condition of £7 million match funding from CCGs by 2023/24. This will create a total planned additional spending of at least £14million a year for CYP PEOLC services across all providers.

In addition, on 20 August the Government announced that £25 million in funding for hospices and palliative care services. This will help alleviate pressures on hospices and boost our local palliative care services; providing for new services – such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams. Importantly, the funding is for adults and children and young people’s hospices and palliative services; this is non-recurrent funding and the £25 million announcement relates to 2019/20 only and; the money is to be spent locally, improving care for patients as soon as possible.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have been working to get this money into local areas as a priority and have uplifted CCG resource allocations to reflect the new funding this month. The expectation is that CCGs work collaboratively to assign the money to hospices and palliative services as a sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) across their STP footprint.

On 1 July 2019, the Government announced plans to increase Children’s Hospice grant from £12 million in 2019/20 to £25 million by 2023/24. The grant is provided to children’s hospices to compensate for lower levels of local statutory funding they receive, compared to adult hospices. The planned grant allocations by financial year are as follows: 2020/21 £15 million; 2021/22 £17 million; 2022/23 £21 million; 2023/24 £25 million. Plans for financial year 2024/25 yet to be developed as the Long Term Plan only covers the period to 2023/24.

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