Cash boost for children’s hospices

CHILDREN’S hospices will receive a �15million cash boost, the Government has said.

The news comes as East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is undertaking a �3m fundraising drive of its own through the Treehouse Appeal. The campaign to build new premises to care for life-threatened youngsters in Suffolk and north Essex was launched last month, and in the first week donations hit the �50,000 mark.

The new funding – announced by Health Secretary Andy Burnham – is part of a �30m package for palliative care for children in England.

Mr Burnham said half will go to children’s hospices to help with their work, including more outreach services.

The remainder will be used within the NHS, with a focus towards community children’s nurses.

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Barbara Gelb, chief executive of Children’s Hospices UK, welcomed the extra cash but said hospices still had to rely “overwhelmingly” on the public for their funds. Ms Gelb said: “This tremendous boost will enable children’s hospice services in England to increase the invaluable support they give to children, young people and families in their own homes.

“It is also great news that the role of children’s nurses, with whom children’s hospices work closely, will be strengthened.

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“However, even with this one-off cash injection, children’s hospices, which are all registered charities, will still rely overwhelmingly on their local communities for funding.”

Mr Burnham said: “For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system. A great NHS will put the convenience of the patient first, and move services towards them where it is safe to do so.

“But care in the home can also achieve better results and save money. For anyone, facing major treatment can be scary – but particularly when you’re young.

“At times like this children want their mum and dad close by at all times and this announcement helps achieve that.”

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