Hospice chief in cautious welcome for new funding boost

St Clare Hospice, in Hastingwood. Picture: ST CLARE

St Clare Hospice, in Hastingwood. Picture: ST CLARE - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of a hospice providing care to people across Uttlesford has welcomed news of a multi-million pound boost for end-of-life facilities across the country.

Sarah Thompson, chief executive of St Clare Hospice. Picture: ST CLARE

Sarah Thompson, chief executive of St Clare Hospice. Picture: ST CLARE - Credit: Archant

The Government announced on Tuesday that £25million would be made available to hospices and palliative care facilities to help support their work across the country.

Among those set to benefit is St Clare Hospice, based in Hastingwood, which cares for people across north Essex and east Hertfordshire.

Chief executive, Sarah Thompson gave the news a cautious welcome but said she wouldn't get "too excited" until she saw how the funds were to be distributed.

She said: "I am pleased to hear that the prime minister has recognised the value and importance of good end of life care which should be available to all who need it. I need to wait to see how the £25million will be distributed to local hospices such as St Clare Hospice before I get too excited.

"With the best will in the world, St Clare Hospice is likely to only receive enough funding that will cover a handful of days of care and services so we must continue to fundraise to cover 365 days of care every single year.

"St Clare Hospice is committed to providing what local people need and remains very grateful to our local communities who are extraordinarily generous to our hospice and whose ongoing support means we can keep our services going."

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Making the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Seeing a loved one nearing the end of their life is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience, so it's vital that we support our fantastic and hardworking hospice staff to deliver the highest quality palliative care.

"As prime minister I am making sure that today our hospices and palliative care services are given a £25 million boost to alleviate the everyday pressures faced on the frontline, helping to ensure they have the resources they need, when they need them."

The announcement follows campaigning from chief executive of Hospice UK Tracey Bleakley and its chairman Robert Peston. They recently met with health secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the pressures facing hospices - from falling fundraising and legacies to reduced local statutory support.