Hospices like St Ann’s are in need of funding from the £6billion NHS budget devolved to the city, a Manchester MP has told Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cheadle Lib Dem MP Mark Hunter implored the coalition leader to pay tribute to St Ann’s dedicated health professionals at Wednesday’s weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Mr Cameron, whose son Ivan was regularly treated at a hospice before he tragically passed away, said he would like to see more money handed to hospices to support their brilliant work.
“I am a parent who used a hospice and was absolutely amazed by the brilliant work that they do,” said the PM.
“I would welcome that NHS money is being made more available to hospices.
“The Greater Manchester decision is a way of making sure decisions are made between local authorities and the NHS, and are made closer to the patients they are serving.”
Mr Hunter is a long-term supporter of St Ann’s and recently welcomed the Minister of State for Care and Support Norman Lamb MP to meet with staff at the hospice.
He believes the devolved money presents a tremendous opportunity to integrate healthcare services in the area and secure an improved long-term funding arrangement for local hospices.
He added: “The recent decision to devolve NHS funding to Greater Manchester provides a rare chance to make end of life care more integrated and hospices to be better supported financially.
“I know well the outstanding work that the staff of St Ann’s do for people when they are at their most vulnerable, at their hour of need.”
Hospices give significant support to the NHS by providing ongoing social care and symptom management that would otherwise be the NHS’ responsibility.
St. Ann’s currently receives some NHS funding but it is nowhere near enough and the hospice’s CEO Jayne Bessant is pleased to see the problem being raised in parliament.
“It is really encouraging to hear hospice care and funding discussed at such a high level and any plans to improve care by taking commissioning decisions locally would certainly be welcome,” she said.
“With only a third of our funding provided by the NHS, we need to raise around £16,000 a day to keep the hospice open.
“However, the money we save the NHS by providing care and services for thousands of people at one of the most vulnerable times of their life is much, much more.”
Image courtesy of Liberal Democrats, with thanks.