Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a £25m cash injection for hospices and palliative care services which support around 200,000 people at the end of their lives.
The financial boost is designed to alleviate pressure on hospices who receive the majority of their funding from the voluntary sector.
Mr 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.”
The announcement followed campaigning from Chief Executive of Hospice UK Tracey Bleakley and its Chair Robert Peston who recently met with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the pressures facing hospices – from falling fundraising and legacies to reduced local statutory support.
Tracey said: “We are pleased that the Government has responded to Hospice UK’s call for extra funding for charitable hospices in England and recognises that many are currently overstretched, amidst rising service costs and increasing demand for the care they provide.
“While this funding boost is welcome and timely, many charitable hospices are facing grave, financial challenges in the long-term and need to raise over £1 billion a year in a very tough fundraising climate. As demand grows and costs increase, the need for funding rises every year.
“The support pledged today is an important first step to help protect the vital care provided by charitable hospices for people with life-limiting conditions and their families.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, 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.
“It is, however, important to recognise that care homes provide much palliative care and 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.”