Hospices face funding struggle24th July 2007
Campaigners have warned that hospices are experiencing debt problems because of a lack of promised government funding.
A study of 186 of the UK's 194 charitable hospices revealed that 1 in 4 institutions are in the red. The study, carried out by the Help the Hospices charity, showed that over the last three years, government funding has decreased.
In England, funds apportioned by the government represented 32% of the £450m expenditure on charitable hospices. This figure fell from 34% in 2004 and 33% in 2005.
The study showed that hospices were given varying funds. Some hospices were given no funding, while others were given 62% of their spend.
In 2005 Labour said in its manifesto that it would double hospice funding. Hospices are reliant on charitable donations in order to continue providing palliative care.
Help the Hospices chief executive David Praill said they were asking the government to honour their manifesto promise to double the funding allocated for palliative care "as a matter of urgency."
He said hospices provided "the majority of in-patient palliative care services" along with a host of other essential services.
"We are not asking for 100% funding, but we do need the government to cover the cost of services that the NHS would otherwise have to provide."
The Department of Health said they were looking into the funding issue.
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Title: Hospices face funding struggle
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3546
Date Added: 24th Jul 2007