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Vital equipment shortage

20th November 2006

15082006_childchemo1.jpgAround a quarter of a million disabled and terminally-ill children are being forced to wait for vital and life-enhancing equipment due to lack of cash, says new research.

NHS organisations and councils are not providing enough funding, leaving children in need going without, says BDF Newlife.

The charity, formerly the Birth Defects Foundation, said children were receiving on average £60 a year – a far cry from how much they need: a child under two may require as much as £7,000 in equipment. This left families forced to fundraise to buy the equipment their children needed.

The figures were revealed after the charity asked all the primary care trusts and local authorities in England what they spent on specialist equipment for sick, disabled and terminally-ill children.

They found that while some spent nothing at all, others didn’t know. The NHS and local government agencies should fund equipment like wheelchairs and beds, as it is required.

Now the charity has called for funding to be ring-fenced to ensure it gets through to those who need it.

The NHS has said it was attempting to improve provision.

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