Hospice UK Secure Debate in Parliament on Funding Crisis

Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice and end-of-life care, has successfully secured a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 15th April, 2024, focused on the pressing issue of hospice funding. Spearheaded by MP Peter Gibson, this debate marks a crucial opportunity for the hospice sector to draw attention to its escalating financial crisis.

The debate’s timing is particularly poignant, as it comes on the heels of sobering revelations regarding the hospice sector’s financial challenges. The spotlight will be on the latest estimates of the deficit confronting hospices in the just-concluded financial year. Sadly, these figures represent the most dire financial strain experienced by the sector in around two decades.

The implications of this funding crisis extend far beyond balance sheets. It threatens the ability of hospices to provide essential end-of-life care and support to patients and their families. Hospices play a vital role in our healthcare system, offering compassion, dignity, and comfort to those facing terminal illnesses. Yet, without adequate funding, these invaluable services risk being compromised.

Staffing shortages, reduced services, and limited resources could become unfortunate realities if immediate action is not taken to address the funding shortfall.

The gravity of the situation facing more than 200 hospices across the UK, which provide vital end-of-life care services to children and adults, cannot be understated. Toby Porter, CEO of Hospice UK, emphasised the severity of the financial challenges, stating, “These are the worst financial results for the hospice sector in around 20 years.” He further warned that “Costs for hospices will keep rising, and without a new model for funding end-of-life care, the coming years could be devastating for hospice care services“.

Julia’s House Children’s Hospices

Julia’s House CEO, Martin Edwards, recently appeared on BBC South, highlighting the urgent need for increased Government funding and public fundraising efforts. Martin also revealed that Julia’s House would face a £1m budget deficit this year and that they are one of the lowest-funded hospices in the country – receiving only 8% Government funding.

During his interview, Martin emphasised the importance of raising awareness for the hospice sector, stating, “We need support now more than ever, both in raising awareness of the current situation and the need to increase Government support but also the continuing support of the local community in donating and fundraising for us”. You can watch the full report on BBC South by clicking here.

Like Julia’s House, hospices across the UK urgently need support from their local communities and the UK Government to ensure they can continue to care for those living with life-limiting illnesses.

A Message from our Chief Executive

As someone who worked in the hospice sector for over 17 years, I’ve seen first-hand the hurdles it encounters in securing the necessary funding to uphold its invaluable standard of care. Amidst the mounting pressures of rising expenses, the need for robust financial backing from the UK Government has never been more urgent. It’s paramount that hospices nationwide receive the support they need to guarantee the continuity of essential care well into the future. I encourage all those reading to take the opportunity to make their voices heard by contacting their MP before the upcoming debate.”

Tom Bradley, Chief Executive