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Boost for dying children care

19th February 2008

The government has said that palliative care services in England for children will be "transformed".

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The announcement of a new palliative care strategy has followed an inquiry in 2007 which criticised services provided by the health service for dying children.

Over 20,000 children and young people in England require palliative care every year due to illnesses such as cancer.

This care for children can be provided at home or in hospices or hospitals. The inquiry, which was ordered by the government, discovered that many families felt frustration at the state of the "patchy" services.

Dying children's parents were found to have to "fight for support" and fell "through the gap between social services and the NHS."

The government said that hospices would receive £10m annually for two years from 2009 - an increase of £1m to their current funding of £9m.

The majority of hospice care service funding comes from charities. These charities receive approximately one fifth of their funds from the government, with the remainder generated by donations.

The government wants to ensure that their new strategy addresses the problem of connecting and co-ordinating social services, councils and the health service.

Care services minister Ivan Lewis said: "Everything is in place for us to start transforming these vital services."

"There is much to do and we must not fail the families who live with these challenging situations every day of their lives."

 

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