Hospices in Wales will receive an extra £2.2m as part of the Welsh Government’s end-of-life care review.
Of the funding, £888k will go to the two children’s hospices – Ty Hafan and Ty Gobaith – and the remainder will be shared by the adult hospice services across Wales.
This funding is on top of the £13.8m already allocated by the Welsh Government to support the sector and strengthen bereavement support throughout the pandemic.
The announcement is part of phase one of the end-of-life care review. The second phase will look at wider end-of-life care provision from April 2022, overseen by the new programme board for end-of-life care.
The funding has been allocated in the Welsh Government’s draft Budget and will be distributed on a recurring basis from April 2022 onwards.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said:
“Hospices are a critical part of our healthcare service in Wales, providing essential care to more than 20,000 people in Wales affected by terminal illnesses each year, helping to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital. More than 85% of that care is provided in the community.
“This has never been more needed than over the last two years when, throughout the pandemic, hospices have been there to support patients, families and carers through the most difficult of times in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We are committed to strengthening our focus on end-of-life care and we will continue to work closely with the new national programme board to drive actions across government and with stakeholders to improve end-of-life care services for all.”
Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice 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, an important first step in achieving this goal.
“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 whom our hospices are often the only place they can receive crisis and respite care and support.”
Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice, said:
“I’d like to thank the Welsh Government to responding to our ask for fair and sustainable funding for Wales’ two children’s hospices.
“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.”
Before the pandemic started, approximately two-thirds of hospices’ income came from fundraising activities.
The Welsh Government’s emergency funding of £13.8m was used to support hospices as they lost income from charitable activities; protect their core services and to strengthen bereavement support.
The end-of-life care review was led by a NHS Collaborative team which analysed information submitted by hospices and held regular meetings to keep them informed of progress.
The additional £2.2m funding provides hospices across Wales with a significant increase to their core funding allocations and offers a level of certainty on which they can plan and deliver future service provision.