Skip to main content

Hospices: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 235379, tabled on 21 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of ring-fencing the Children’s Hospice Grant for children’s hospices over the lifespan of the NHS Long-Term Plan.

Answered on

26 March 2019

Children’s palliative and end of life care is an important priority for the National Health Service. In the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England set out that it will increase its contribution to children’s palliative care over the next five years by match funding clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which commit to increase their investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services. NHS England will match CCG increased investment by up to £7 million a year by 2023/24.

The increase set out in the Long Term Plan is in addition to the existing Children’s Hospice Grant, which currently provides an annual contribution of £11 million. NHS England estimates that full match funding should more than double the additional NHS support from £11 million to a combined total of £25 million a year by 2023/24.

The Department would expect hospices to be significant beneficiaries of the additional funding NHS England has committed to over the next five years. In many areas, children’s hospices are the main providers of children’s palliative and end of life care services. However, this new investment may also provide for community services; short break (respite) services; and out of hours support for children with palliative care needs, all of which we know is hugely valued by children and their families and carers.

The Department believes the focus of NHS England’s planned increase to children’s palliative care services is the correct to approach to deliver sustainable and effective care for this vulnerable group of patients. Simply increasing the hospice grant is not a solution. Local Commissioners need to deliver the investment and plan services in this important area holistically, and the funding increase NHS England has committed to provides a strong incentive for them to do that.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.