The Prime Minister has promised a £25 million cash boost for hospices and community services offering palliative care.
Boris Johnson said the new investment will support the palliative
care sector in relieving workforce pressures, as well as introducing new
services – such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community
The money, which is also expected prevent hospices around the country from closing, stands to support around 200,000 people at the end of their lives, as well as supporting tens of thousands of family members with bereavement support.
Johnson said: “Seeing a loved one nearing the end of their life is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience, so it’s vital that we support our fantastic and hardworking hospice staff to deliver the highest quality palliative care.
“As Prime Minister I am making sure that today our hospices and palliative care services are given a £25 million boost to alleviate the everyday pressures faced on the frontline, helping to ensure they have the resources they need, when they need them.”
Today’s announcement follows a campaign from Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, and the company’s chair, Robert Peston. They recently met with Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the pressures facing hospices – from falling fundraising and legacies to reduced local statutory support.
Hancock said: “End of life is vitally important, and our NHS is committed to caring for you from cradle to grave. This cash boost will protect our precious hospices and palliative care services so people across the country will have the best, most personalised and dignified choices when they die.“We should expect the highest quality support, so we can spend the last days of our life with our loved ones, dying with dignity in the way that we want to.”
The £25 million in 2019/20 will be funded from existing budgets, the government said.
Responding to the announcement, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England said: “Care England welcomes any new money into the sector to help the health and social care system cope with the challenges of securing the well being of all in their care.
“Care England looks forward to learning the Government’s intentions as to how to prepare for the long term future and security of adult social care. As the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England urges the Government to listen to the sector and act rather than resort to a plethora of more consultations which to date have not delivered.”