NHS England to increase children's hospice funding

The region’s hospice for children and young adults, Naomi House & Jacksplace, has today welcomed the announcement that NHS England is increasing the vital children’s hospice grant from £11million to £25million, better enabling hospices across England to support seriously ill children.

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This much-needed increase in funding forms part of NHS England’s long term plan and follows a campaign spearheaded by the UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives with significant support from Naomi House & Jacksplace.

Staff at Naomi House & Jacksplace have been working with MPs and Ministers from across central southern England to highlight the need for increased funding and to illustrate the growing complexity of children’s hospice care. This included a Parliamentary Reception, hosted by Steve Brine MP, Minister at the Department of Health and Social Care, where Ministers and MPs heard from families that had received care at Naomi House & Jacksplace, as well as the charity’s staff, Trustees and Patron, Alastair Stewart OBE. In addition, Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP visited the hospices and spent time with children and families staying in the charity’s ground-breaking Long Term Ventilation Unit.

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As part of the NHS long term plan, additional funding will be available each year over the next five years, increasing by up to £7m a year by 2023/24, if clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) also provide additional match funding.

Naomi House & Jacksplace needs to raise more than £8.5 million each year to deliver a full service, and less than 15% of that income comes from Government or statutory funding.  Across England as a whole, children’s hospices received on average just 22% of their funding from statutory sources in 2016/17, compared to 33% for adult hospices.

Naomi House & Jacksplace, opened in 1997, currently cares for more than 520 local families. The hospices, located near Winchester, provide respite, emergency, end of life and post bereavement care to children, young adults and their families from across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Berkshire, West Sussex, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.

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The funding will enable children’s hospices like Naomi House & Jacksplace to maintain and develop their services for the most complex children, and in doing so help reduce pressure on the NHS, keeping children out of hospital longer and supporting the wider family.  

Mark Smith, Chief Executive of Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:

“This is welcome news for Naomi House & Jacksplace and the wider children’s hospice sector in England. Naomi House & Jacksplace are caring for more children and young adults than ever before, and those we care for are increasingly medically complex. In addition we are developing new and innovative services that enable us to reach more families in need of support. We would like to thank the numerous MPs and Government Ministers who have visited Naomi House & Jacksplace or attended our Parliamentary Reception this year. I am confident they will have been willing champions of this funding increase.”