Cash crisis forces children’s hospices in England to limit respite care
From The Guardian: Children’s hospices in England are in crisis and have started turning away families because of a lack of government funding and falls in corporate donations, charities have warned.
Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, which runs two children’s hospices in the south-east, will stop offering respite care from November to half the 500 local families who need it… The charity has had a 25% real-terms cut in its government funding since 2008, he said, and has been eating into its reserves since 2012. “Having to not offer services that we know are vital to really vulnerable families is very difficult for me and my staff. Respite care is a lifeline for these families. It gives parents a break. There is a chance that, without it, families will be torn apart.”
The campaigning charity Together for Short Lives will publish a report this week criticising the government for quietly reneging on its promise last December to increase its annual grant to children’s hospices to £25m. Children’s hospices in England, the report will say, now face a £13m funding gap because the government has repeatedly failed to increase funding when medical treatments advance.