Barbara has called on the Conservative Government to take action to improve the care and support services available to children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
Speaking at a debate in Westminster, Barbara said that Conservative Government cuts were making it harder to provide the palliative care and support services that children and their families need. The Charity ‘Together for Short Lives’ found that Clinical Commissioning Groups contribute just 10% on average to the cost of the care that children receive in hospices compared to an average of around 30% towards care for adults in hospices.
Local authorities are required to provide short breaks for disabled children. However, Barbara raised the fact that 6 out 10 local authorities have had to cut the funding for short breaks by 15% between 2011 and 2015 due to cuts in core Government funding. She called on Conservative Ministers to act to make sure that seriously-ill or disabled children and their family carers can access short breaks.
“Many hospices, hospitals, social care providers and charities are providing excellent care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. But it is clear that more needs to be done to develop a sustainable funding system that can provide a fully integrated service for families at all stages of their child’s illness.
“In Salford, the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports 9 families whose children have a terminal or life-threatening illness. Charities like the Rainbow Trust provide an essential service to families outside a hospice setting and yet only receive 3% of the funding needed for those services from statutory authorities. The Government must recognise the value of community palliative care and how this can work alongside hospice care to provide families with the support they need from the very moment a diagnosis is made.
“I am calling for more to be done in future to ensure that every family and child living with a life-limiting condition can access the support they need, when they need it.”