Vital healthcare for children being funded by ‘bake sales and sponsored walks’, warns charity CEO

A children’s hospice chief executive has hit out at the small proportion of government funding the charity receives despite its crucial role in plugging gaps in NHS care.

David Robinson, CEO of Lancashire based Derian House Children’s Hospice, says it is “simply not right” that the care the charity provides for seriously ill children in the community “is being paid for by bake sales and sponsored walks”.

He added: “It costs £5 million to run our services every year and yet currently only 12% of this comes from government funding.”

He was making the comments following the publication of research to show the extent of gaps in end-of-life NHS care for seriously ill children and the role the charity is playing to ensure families are supported.

This found gaps in specialist training, mental health support, specialist in supporting families from a range of cultures and in services when young people transition between children and adult services.

The charity’s services that are most welcomed by families include overnight respite care and use of its hydrotherapy pool.

“While the findings of our research are stark, they are not shocking to us because we’ve been filling the gaps in children’s palliative and end of life care for a long time,” added Robinson.

The results of the research will be used to help the hospice shape its future care for families of children with life-limiting conditions.

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