Hospice joins calls for extra funding

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 July 2019

Eddie Farwell, co-founder of Children's Hospice South West, is joining calls for improved funding for children's Hospices.

Eddie Farwell, co-founder of Children's Hospice South West, is joining calls for improved funding for children's Hospices.

John Bellars

The co-founder and chief executive of a Wraxall charity is calling for children's hospices to receive more funds.

Eddie Farwell, who set up Children's Hospice South West (CHSW) with his late wife Jill, said the cost of providing specialist care for life-limited children is continuing to rise, along with the demand for services.

The charity needs around £10million a year to run its three hospices - which include Charlton Farm in Wraxall, Little Bridge House in North Devon and Little Harbour in Cornwall - and it receives around 15 per cent of its funds from central Government.

Mr Farwell is joining calls to NHS England's chief executive, Simon Stevens, to keep his promise to properly fund children's hospices.

He said: "I would like to assure people that due to the fantastic support we have received from the local community over many years, Children's Hospice South West enjoys financial stability.

"However, the cost of providing specialist care for children with life-limiting conditions rises year-on-year and the demand on our services is increasing.

"If we were to lose our grant from central Government, or if it no longer kept up with the cost of providing complex care, our position may change over time and we could have to review the continued provision of some services.

"In real terms, financial support from the NHS has diminished over the past 10 years, meaning more of our running costs comes from voluntary fundraising by our wonderful supporters.

"So we would urge the Government to review the current level of funding for children's hospices, to recognise the burdens placed on our charity due to the increase in demand for our services and public sector austerity, and look for a long-term improvement in statutory funding."

A survey of 27 children's hospices in England, carried out by Together For Short Lives (TfSL), has shown NHS and local council cuts are hitting vital care for seriously ill children.

NHS England said funding for children's end-of-life care was 'going up every year' and will more than double within the next five years.

But the TfSL survey found 74 per cent of children's hospice charities experienced a real-term cut in the money they received from CCGs last year.

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