Stephen Metcalfe MP calls for increased NHS England care funding for seriously ill children

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has joined children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives’ call on NHS England to keep its promise to protect the Children’s Hospice Grant – and go further by increasing it to £25million per year.

A new report published by Together for Short Lives has found that the funding each children’s hospice charity received from local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) reduced on average by more than £7,000 – a 2% cut from £371,303 to £364,076, across England in the two years between 2016/17 and 2018/19.

The report also found funding is varies widely across local areas: 15% of children’s hospice charities receive nothing at all from their CCGs.

Stephen Metcalfe said: “Children’s hospices provide absolutely crucial support to seriously ill children and their families, representing the very best of community care.

However, for the local community to maintain these important services the generosity of the public needs to be met with sustainable Government funding. Last week I celebrated the fantastic work children’s hospices do in our community and I am calling on the Government for fair and sustainable funding”.

Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said: “All children’s palliative care services need equitable and sustainable funding. It is increasingly not sustainable for specialist children’s palliative care services provided by children’s hospices to be funded by charity reserves and the generosity of the public. I am delighted that Stephen Metcalfe MP is providing us with a voice in Parament to call on NHS England to protect and increase funding for children’s hospices”