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extra funding from government a “lifeline for children and families” – wales’ children’s hospices

Today, Tuesday 25 January, which marks the 23rd anniversary of the opening of Tŷ Hafan, children’s hospice, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS, made an oral statement on the findings of the first phase of the Welsh Government and End-of-Life Care Board’s hospice funding review, first announced on 5 March 2021.

Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices welcome the announcement from the Minister, which outlined an additional allocation of £888,000 per annum in government funding, jointly between the two hospices on a recurring basis. The hospices have also welcomed the decision to distribute this additional funding via the NHS Collaborative, ensuring that they have discretion over how such additional funding will be spent to benefit of Wales’ most vulnerable children and their families whom they support.

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This is the first time additional statutory funding has been made available to Wales’ two children’s hospices since 2007. The children’s hospices will receive around 21 percent of the costs of providing palliative care to children and families in Wales. Together with the fantastic support and continued generosity of the people and businesses of Wales, it is an important step in building towards a sustainable future for the two hospices. This will allow them to recruit more nurses and to build more resilience into their services in the hospices and in the community.

This funding will enable the hospices to extend the breadth and depth of their services and to provide more respite care for those families who so desperately need it. Ultimately, today’s announcement will help to reduce the burden of unplanned and crisis admissions on the NHS and is an important step in helping to create a more compassionate Wales.

Speaking about the funding announcement, Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan, Maria Timon Samra said: “Together with Tŷ Gobaith we have been campaigning for a sustainable funding solution for Wales’ children’s hospices. We are delighted by the Welsh Government’s commitment to act on the recommendations of the hospice funding review. This funding will mean a great deal to the hundreds of families our hospices support every year. We thank the Minister, Eluned Morgan, Deputy Minster, Julie Morgan, and Members from across the Chamber, for their support for this Lifeline fund, not forgetting those Government officials who have also worked on this review.  We look forward to continuing to work with them to create a Wales that is more compassionate and supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families. For them, our hospices are often the only place they can receive crisis and respite care and support.”

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The calls for a Lifeline Fund for Wales’ children’s hospices stemmed from the Family Voices Report, jointly commissioned by Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith, in which children and their families described the two hospices as their “lifeline”.

Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith, Andy Goldsmith said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign for fair and sustainable funding for the children’s hospices, and to the Welsh Government for responding to our ask. This increased funding is a major first step forward in ensuring the “Lifeline” that children’s hospices provide is available for every child and family that needs us. We look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government to fund and develop services to meet the growing and changing need for the specialist care and bereavement support that both Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan provide in Wales.” 

Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives, the UK’s children’s palliative care charity, added: “I welcome the Welsh Government’s decision to allocate this funding to Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith. Children’s hospice care is a lifeline for thousands of seriously ill children and families across the UK, providing, short breaks for respite in an appropriate clinical setting, vital end of life care bereavement care and more. Every child and family in Wales who needs it should be able to choose to access children’s hospice care, safe in the knowledge that it is sustainably funded.”

Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith urge all Members of the Senedd to support the proposals within the budget process to ensure that their services can reach those children, and their families, who need them at the most vulnerable time in their precious short lives.

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