Lord Goddard Supports Hospice Funding in House of Lords

Today, Lord Goddard raised a question in the House of Lords about the importance of hospice funding and our work here at St Ann’s. Our Chief Executive Rachel McMillan has written about it.

By Rachel McMillan on October 28, 2020

“Unless people have a need for hospice care for themselves or their loved ones, the work of organisations like ours can risk being seen by many as remote or irrelevant to their lives.

“Many don’t realise the huge contribution to the health and social care sector hospices make every single day – supporting NHS colleagues, helping patients manage their symptoms and illnesses in the community, being there from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, through treatment and beyond. And, most importantly providing support to people who otherwise might not receive the timely and very specialist care they need, at an incredibly vulnerable time in their life.

“I was so pleased to hear hospice care and the importance of sustained funding for hospices on the agenda in the House of Lords today. We were extremely grateful to Lord Goddard for raising a question which both highlighted the work we do here at St Ann’s, and asked the government to clarify plans around the levelling up of fair funding and contract arrangements for hospices across the UK.

“2020 has been a really difficult year for all of us, including hospices. We’ve been working hard on the front line, caring for patients, and increasing the support we give to NHS colleagues to ensure that those who need it have access to specialist care.

“With only around a third of our funding coming from the NHS, the rest – around £20,000 a day – needs to be fundraised, which has been even more of a difficult feat in recent months than ever before. Many of our fundraising events and activities have been cancelled, and we’ve had to think quickly, being innovative and responsive to ensure we can keep our doors open for the families who need us. The patients we support have a wide range of life-limiting illnesses, from cancer to dementia; Motor Neurone Disease to organ failure, and many others in between. We touch so many lives, and I’m proud to say that so many people’s journeys are positively impacted by the support we give.”

“Our local communities have been incredible, coming up with so many inventive ways of supporting the hospice during the pandemic and we’re hugely grateful. It really has meant that we’ve been able to not only continue the provision of our services, but also to adapt them to make sure they meet the changing needs of both our patients, and also government and public health guidance and rules.

“It was great to hear the members of the House of Lords talk today about the value of hospice care, and particularly about the huge gap that would be left in the UK’s health and social care system if we weren’t here.

“We really value our independent charity status – it means we’re able to be fleet of foot. We can adapt, change and develop services to meet the needs of our patients at pace. But, alongside this, it’s also crucial that a fair, levelled up agreement around funding for hospices is agreed.

“So many people who don’t know what the future will hold for them and their loved ones rely on us every day. We need to know what the future holds for our organisations and our funding to ensure we can continue to support those patients who need – right when they need us most.”