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Hospices: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 176005, tabled on 8 October 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the trends in the level of funding for the children's hospice grant in the (a) north west and (b) Wirral.

Answered on

11 October 2018

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

No specific assessment has been made of provision or patient population in Wirral or the north west. As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care, is a local matter, over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly. The only exception to this are a small number specialist paediatric palliative care inpatient services, commissioned nationally by NHS England from ten centres across England as part of its remit to deliver specialised services.

Much of the routine palliative care patients receive will be provided either in outpatient or community settings, by nurses, community teams or general practitioners as part of general NHS services provision, rather than as an identified palliative care service. In such services, data are either not available or does not identify palliative treatment. In addition, social and voluntary sector organisations can provide additional support to patients at the end of life. Therefore, figures for the total cost of palliative care service for children nationally, or across local areas, is not available. Decisions regarding referral to local palliative care services will be made on the basis of clinical need.


The following table shows information regarding funding provided via the Children’s Hospice Grant to hospices in the North and in Wirral over the last eight years. Nationally, children’s hospices are receiving £11 million in 2018/19 through the Children’s Hospice Grant, which is awarded annually and administered by NHS England.

North west

Wirral

2011/12

£1,522,944

£353,306

2012/13

£1,522,944

£353,306

2013/14

£1,562,576

£353,306

2014/15

£1,562,576

£362,500

2015/16

£1,562,576

£362,500

2016/17

£1,562,576

£362,500

2017/18

£1,562,576

£362,500

2018/19

£1,562,576

£362,500

Notes:

- The children’s hospice grant programme provides a general contribution to the operating costs for hospices. It does not pay for actual services for patients in specified areas. Therefore, it is not possible to reconcile the grant payment to actual activity delivered within any geographical area. Neither does the grant pay specifically for specialised or non-specialised services as it is a general contribution.

- For this analysis for the grant figure for the North West includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria based hospices.

- The Wirral figure is for a single hospice.

- Local NHS commissioners also provide funding to children’s hospices which is a mixture of grant funding and activity based payments. Due to the low value of this funding this is not routinely recorded and so is not readily available.

- Local authorities also provide some funding to some hospices, but this information is not held by NHS England.

Original answer

No specific assessment has been made of provision or patient population in Wirral or the north west. As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care, is a local matter, over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly. The only exception to this are a small number specialist paediatric palliative care inpatient services, commissioned nationally by NHS England from eight centres across England as part of its remit to deliver specialised services.

Much of the routine palliative care patients receive will be provided either in outpatient or community settings, by nurses, community teams or general practitioners as part of general NHS services provision, rather than as an identified palliative care service. In such services, data are either not available or does not identify palliative treatment. In addition, social and voluntary sector organisations can provide additional support to patients at the end of life. Therefore, figures for the total cost of palliative care service for children nationally, or across local areas, is not available. Decisions regarding referral to local palliative care services will be made on the basis of clinical need.


The following table shows information regarding funding provided via the Children’s Hospice Grant to hospices in the North and in Wirral over the last eight years. Nationally, children’s hospices are receiving £11 million in 2018/19 through the Children’s Hospice Grant, which is awarded annually and administered by NHS England.

North west

Wirral

2011/12

£1,522,944

£353,306

2012/13

£1,522,944

£353,306

2013/14

£1,562,576

£353,306

2014/15

£1,562,576

£362,500

2015/16

£1,562,576

£362,500

2016/17

£1,562,576

£362,500

2017/18

£1,562,576

£362,500

2018/19

£1,562,576

£362,500

Notes:

- The children’s hospice grant programme provides a general contribution to the operating costs for hospices. It does not pay for actual services for patients in specified areas. Therefore, it is not possible to reconcile the grant payment to actual activity delivered within any geographical area. Neither does the grant pay specifically for specialised or non-specialised services as it is a general contribution.

- For this analysis for the grant figure for the North West includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria based hospices.

- The Wirral figure is for a single hospice.

- Local NHS commissioners also provide funding to children’s hospices which is a mixture of grant funding and activity based payments. Due to the low value of this funding this is not routinely recorded and so is not readily available.

- Local authorities also provide some funding to some hospices, but this information is not held by NHS England.

Named day
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