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, what recent assessment her Department has made of the equity of funding provided to hospices across England.

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, what recent assessment her Department has made of the sustainability of the funding model for hospices in England.

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, what steps her Department (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to ensure the long-term sustainability of the hospice sector.

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

While no specific assessment has been made recently of the equity of funding provided to hospices across England or the sustainability of the funding model for hospices, there are several steps that the Department is taking to ensure the equity and sustainability of funding for hospices.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for determining the level of National Health Service funded palliative and end of life care, including hospice care, locally, and they are responsible for ensuring that the services they commission meet the needs of their local population.

The majority of palliative and end of life care is provided by NHS 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 loved ones. Most hospices are charitable, independent organisations which receive some statutory funding for providing NHS services. 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 developed 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.

At a national level, NHS England supports palliative and end of life care for children and young people through the Children and Young People’s hospice grant. It has confirmed that it will be renewing the grant for 2024/25, once again allocating £25 million of grant funding for children’s hospices using the same prevalence-based allocation approach as in 2022/23 and 2023/24.

The Department recognises that one of the keys to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the hospice sector is to ensure that it can maintain a sufficient workforce. The Government have also provided additional funding to help deliver the one-off payments to eligible staff employed by non-NHS organisations, which 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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