To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to an urgent review into the level of statutory funding required for palliative care provided by independent hospices to ensure that those hospices can continue to provide care in the medium term.
The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.
The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.