Hospices: Finance

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the potential implications for her policies of the report by the APPG for Hospice and End of Life Care entitled Government funding for hospices, to be published in February 2024.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department is already taking actions which will address many of the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report. As part of the Health and Care Act 2022, the Government added palliative care services to the list of services an integrated care board (ICB) must commission, which will ensure a more consistent national approach and support commissioners in prioritising palliative and end of life care.

The majority of palliative and end of life care is provided by National Health Service staff and services. However, we also recognise the vital part that voluntary sector organisations, including hospices, play in providing support to people at end of life and their families. Most hospices are charitable, independent organisations which receive some statutory funding for providing NHS services. The amount of funding hospices receive is dependent on many factors, including what other statutory services are available within the ICB footprint. Charitable hospices provide a range of services which go beyond that which statutory services are legally required to provide, and consequently, the funding arrangements reflect this.

NHS England has commissioned the development of a palliative and end of life care dashboard, which brings together all relevant local data in one place. The dashboard helps commissioners understand the palliative and end of life care needs of their local population, enabling ICBs to put plans in place to address and track the improvement of health inequalities and ensure that funding is distributed fairly based on prevalence.

In July 2022, NHS England published statutory guidance and service specifications for commissioners on palliative and end of life care, setting out the considerations for ICBs to meet their legal duties. The guidance makes specific reference to commissioners defining how their services will meet population needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Government have also provided additional funding to help deliver the one-off payments to eligible staff employed by non-NHS organisations, who employ their staff on dynamically linked Agenda for Change contracts. Organisations were able to apply for the funding and needed to show they had been negatively financially impacted by the pay deal, and that their staff are employed on dynamically linked Agenda for Change contracts.

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