East Anglia’s Children Hospices welcome fairer funding plan
Plans to improve the way palliative care for children is funded have been welcomed by a hospice charity.
East Anglia's Children's Hospices (Each) is part of a group of organisations and health trusts which will help the Department of Health work out how it can provide fairer funding for supporting children who need care at the end of their lives or care to relieve pain and prevent suffering.
The department says NHS funding for palliative care services is often poorly distributed, with the voluntary sector having to bear an unfair share of the costs.
A new fairer funding system is needed but essential information needed to develop a system does not exist and so eight pilot sites – with a share of �1.8m – will collect this vital information.
One of the pilot sites receiving funding is being led by the East of England Child Health and Wellbeing Team, which is part of a consortium pilot area for children's palliative care services and will receive a share of �400,000.
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The consortium includes the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Each, which runs Quidenham Hospice in Norfolk.
Chief executive Graham Butland said: 'Each welcomes the funding announcement and looks forward to working with the East of England Child Health and Wellbeing Team over the next two years. The pilot to determine how children's palliative care is appropriately funded in the future is vital to meeting the needs of the children, young people and families we support.'
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Tracey Cogan, who submitted the bid on behalf of the Strategic Network for Children and Young People with Palliative Care Needs in the East of England, said: 'We are very pleased to have been chosen as a pilot area for children's palliative care services. This designation and funding will support the development of the national palliative care tariff for children and young people.
'Specifically, it will enable us to further develop our palliative care database for children and young people in order to capture the numbers that require services and their specific needs.
'This work is being supported by a range of hospices, acute and community providers and once completed will help to inform the commissioning and delivery of services to ensure they meet the needs of these children and young people.'
The pilot schemes will collect data over two years to 2014, with a new funding system introduced from 2015.