Charity subs NHS cancer care20th June 2008
Health economists have claimed that the NHS is relying on charitable donations to fund the treatment and support of children and teenagers with cancer.
The research shows that as much as half of the funding in NHS specialist cancer centres in England and Wales comes from charities, raising questions about the government’s responsibility to cancer care.
The study by the team from the University of Bangor found that 51 charities had been set up specifically to support children with cancer and 340 charities had made some kind of financial contribution. A further 28 organisations had provided funds for hospices.
The figures, taken from 2003 and published in the Journal of Child Health Care, show that between £25m and £38m of funding came from charity, compared with between £38m and £55m coming from the NHS.
Study author Dr Dyfrig Hughes said: "The take-home message is that it is a significant contribution towards work which arguably should be paid for by the NHS.
"People tend to give money to things which play on the heart strings and cancer is an area which attracts a huge amount of charity but there are other diseases that do not get the same donations."
The Department of Health said that cancer care for children had improved significantly in the last decade due to investment and reform.
A spokesman said that in February a £20m investment to improve palliative care services for the thousands of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions such as childhood cancers was launched.
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Title: Charity subs NHS cancer care
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 7209
Date Added: 20th Jun 2008