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Vital funding to support Welsh hospices

Health Secretary Eluned Morgan has today announced Welsh hospices will receive £4m in government funding to continue their vital work

The funding will ensure people across Wales continue to receive palliative and end-of-life care from the network of hospices, which traditionally rely on fundraising and charitable donations.

But the cost-of-living crisis has made fundraising increasingly difficult, making it harder for hospices to retain and recruit staff – some have had to consider whether they can continue to maintain services.

The £4m, which will be shared by Wales’ 12 commissioned hospices, will help them maintain services, meet staffing costs, and improve the quality of end-of-life care provided to individuals and families.

More than £770,000 will go to the two children’s hospices – Ty Gobaith and Ty Hafan – which support children and young people living with a life-limiting condition.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan said:

Hospices and end-of-life care services are highly valued, and they play a really important role in supporting families at some of the most difficult times in their lives.

“They also support the NHS to provide essential care to around 20,000 who need palliative and end-of-life care every year.

“This funding will help to ensure they can continue to provide these vital services and keep on providing high-quality care across Wales.

Chair of Hospices Cymru and Chief Executive for City Hospice, Liz Booyse said:

Every year, thousands of adults and children facing life-limiting illnesses turn to charitable hospices in Wales for expert care and trusted support, for them and their families.

Members of Hospices Cymru welcome Welsh Government’s recognition and support of the essential role Welsh hospices play in delivering palliative care and end-of-life services, in collaboration with the NHS.

As the demand for our services continues to grow, we also welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to develop a sustainable funding arrangement with Welsh hospices. This commitment is vital for ensuring the ongoing continuity of the critical services we provide to communities across Wales.

Policy and Advocacy Manager Wales for Hospice UK, Matthew Brindley said:

We welcome Welsh Government’s recognition and support for Welsh hospices as valued and equal partners with the NHS. This support will help ensure our members can continue providing essential care to 20,000 people affected by terminal illnesses each year, taking pressure off the NHS.

But hospices still face an uncertain future with ever-increasing complexity of care and cost of living pressures. This money gives hospices much-needed support and security now, but we will need to work with Welsh Government and Health Boards to develop a more sustainable and equitable funding solution that recognises the critical partnership role Welsh hospices play delivering care with our NHS colleagues.

Marie Curie Cymru Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Services, Rachel Jones, said:

Today’s announcement of funding to support charitable hospices in Wales is welcome but we need a more sustainable funding model. Charitable hospices in Wales, like the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale, are vital partners to the wider health and social care system. Providing essential care and support to individuals at the end of life and those close to them and reducing pressures on the NHS.

As a charity, we are fortunate to have amazing supporters who help raise vital funds to enable us to deliver services to support and care for individuals and their loved ones across Wales, but relying on this generosity is not sustainable and we are not isolated from the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

With more people requiring palliative and end of life care in the future it is critical that we can continue to explore what is needed to establish a genuinely sustainable funding model to ensure that people receive the best possible palliative and end of life care. We look forward to continuing to work with the National Programme Board for Palliative and End of Life Care on this.

Jason Foster, Interim Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice said:

“Wales has two children’s hospices, Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith and today I am speaking on behalf of both of them.

“My counterpart, Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith, and I are, of course, very grateful for this additional funding from the Welsh Government, £229,684 for Tŷ Gobaith and £544,285 for Tŷ Hafan.

“These sums will enable both Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan to almost record a balanced budget for the 2023/24 financial year. Without this funding, both children’s hospices would have run at a deficit, drawing on limited funds held in reserve.

“However, this funding, while welcome, does not enable Tŷ Gobaith or Tŷ Hafan to meet anything like the demand for the care we provide.

“There are over 3,000 children in Wales who have a life-shortening condition yet between Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan we are only currently able to support just over 400 of them.

“This means that, right now, the vast majority of children with life-shortening conditions in Wales are simply unable to access any support from either of Wales’s two children’s hospices.

“Furthermore, these payments are discretionary and one-off payments made at the very end of the financial year. As such they are no substitute for long-term sustainable funding which would allow us to plan longer term and reach many more of those children and their families who so desperately need our support right now. This is something we have been campaigning about for years and with the ongoing challenges around the cost-of-living, the need for sustainable funding is becoming ever more acute.

“Children and families who receive our hospice care call it ‘a lifeline’.  We believe that every child and family should be offered that lifeline.

“Currently Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices receive less than 14% of the cost of children’s hospice care from NHS Wales or the Welsh Government.

“Whilst this one-off payment is very welcome it does not change the fact that hospice care for children in Wales continues to depend overwhelmingly on the wonderful generosity and kind support of businesses, communities and individuals across Wales and beyond for which we remain incredibly grateful and without which we would not be here for children and their families when they turn to us.”

The funding is part of phase 3 of the Welsh Government’s end-of-life care review; £4m was provided to support hospices in 2023-24.

Palliative and end-of-life care includes the care and support of people and their families with progressive, life-shortening conditions, particularly for those who may be in the last year of their lives and includes palliative care and end-of-life care.

Hospice                        Amount
City Hospice £198,632.00
Hospice of the Valleys £155,225.00
Marie Curie Hospice £1,099,743.00
Nightingale House Hospice £363,710.00
Paul Sartori Hospice £135,654.00
Severn Hospice £43,740.00
St David’s Hospice £425,279.00
St David’s Hospice Foundation Care £542,106.00
St Kentigern Hospice £224,203.00
St Michael’s Hospice £37,740.00
Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice £229,684.00
Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice £544,285.00