Posted: Sat 20th Apr 2024

Welsh Government funding for children’s hospices not enough, says sector leader for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

The head of a children’s hospice has warned that a one-off payment from the Welsh Government is “no substitute for long-term sustainable funding” to help provide services across Wales.

Last week reported that 12 commissioned hospices across Wales would receive a share of £4 million from the Welsh Government to help support their vital work.

The fund, announced by Health Secretary Eluned Morgan, aims to help the hospices maintain services, meet staffing costs, and improve the quality of end-of-life care provided to individuals and families.

More than £770,000 will go to the two children’s hospices – Ty Gobaith and Ty Hafan – which support children and young people living with a life-limiting condition.

Of this funding has been allocated for £229,684 for Tŷ Gobaith, which is part of Hope House, and £544,285 for Tŷ Hafan, based in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Speaking on behalf of the two hospices Jason Foster, Interim Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice said that whilst the additional funding is welcome, it does not help the services to “meet anything like the demand for the care” they provide.

“My counterpart, Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith, and I are, of course, very grateful for this additional funding from the Welsh Government, £229,684 for Tŷ Gobaith and £544,285 for Tŷ Hafan,” said Jason Foster.

“These sums will enable both Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan to almost record a balanced budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

“Without this funding, both children’s hospices would have run at a deficit, drawing on limited funds held in reserve.

“However, this funding, while welcome, does not enable Tŷ Gobaith or Tŷ Hafan to meet anything like the demand for the care we provide.

“There are over 3,000 children in Wales who have a life-shortening condition yet between Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan we are only currently able to support just over 400 of them.

“This means that, right now, the vast majority of children with life-shortening conditions in Wales are simply unable to access any support from either of Wales’s two children’s hospices.

“Furthermore, these payments are discretionary and one-off payments made at the very end of the financial year.

“As such they are no substitute for long-term sustainable funding which would allow us to plan longer term and reach many more of those children and their families who so desperately need our support right now.

“This is something we have been campaigning about for years and with the ongoing challenges around the cost-of-living, the need for sustainable funding is becoming ever more acute.

“Children and families who receive our hospice care call it ‘a lifeline’. We believe that every child and family should be offered that lifeline.

“Currently Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices receive less than 14% of the cost of children’s hospice care from NHS Wales or the Welsh Government.

“Whilst this one-off payment is very welcome it does not change the fact that hospice care for children in Wales continues to depend overwhelmingly on the wonderful generosity and kind support of businesses, communities and individuals across Wales and beyond for which we remain incredibly grateful and without which we would not be here for children and their families when they turn to us.”

Pictured left to right: Jason Foster, interim chief executive of Ty Hafan and Andy Goldsmith, chief executive of Ty Gobaith

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