Breaking News

News release

17 June 2010 – for immediate use

Government backs £40 million improvements to hospices

 Capital grants to UK hospices promised in the last few months of Labour’s administration have been reconfirmed as part of the coalition government’s review of spending commitments made by the previous government since January 2010. The news followed today’s (Thursday 17 June 2010) announcement by the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, about projects that the Treasury has cancelled or suspended.

 One hundred and twenty-three hospices across the UK had been awarded grants totalling £40m in April 2010 to enhance care for patients and families by improving the physical environment of care. The grants were to be used to fund work ranging from installing specialist equipment, refurbishing rooms, or improving gardens to enable patients and their families to spend time outdoors.

 Since May 2010, when the review was announced, hospices have been waiting anxiously to hear if the new government would reconfirm the much-awaited grants. There is now great relief that these crucial projects to benefit hospice patients and their families can go ahead.

 David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, the leading charity supporting hospice care throughout the UK, said: “We are delighted with this news and pleased that the new government has recognised the importance of this funding to help improve the care of people affected by life-limiting and terminal illness. Many hospices will be relieved that they can now go ahead with their much-anticipated improvements.

 “Although hospice care is more than just a building – with many services being provided in people’s homes – the building itself gives hospice care an important physical presence in the community.

 “This grant will make a huge difference to the quality of hospice environments. The funds will enhance living spaces and equip hospices with some of the practical tools to meet the wide-ranging needs of people with life-limiting and terminal illness, and their friends and family.

 “The coalition government has already made very clear statements expressing their support for hospice care – they have committed to a new funding system for hospice care and extended emergency funding for children’s hospices – and we are delighted that they have followed through that commitment by honouring these grants.”