As discussions around the Welsh Government’s budget continue ahead of an announcement in December, Wales’ two children’s hospices have urged the Welsh Government to provide an uplift in funding and a Lifeline for the most vulnerable children, and their families.
Both charities were delighted to welcome ITV and Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd, Peredur Owen Griffiths, to Tŷ Hafan on 28 October to meet with families, members of staff and to discuss the ongoing campaign for the Lifeline Fund.
Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith - together - provide palliative care for more than 450 children with life-limiting conditions across Wales and offer around 2,500 nights of respite and short break care each year. Despite this, they receive less than 10 percent of their funding from statutory sources – that is the Welsh Government, Local Health Boards and Local Authorities. They are calling for a more sustainable funding solution to allow them to futureproof their services and extend their reach, particularly into more rural communities across Wales, as well as ensuring continued care and support for some of the most vulnerable children in our communities.
Now, more than ever, additional support for the families of children with life-limiting conditions is needed. Families have told us that Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith are often the only place where they receive essential care and support, in the hospice, at home and in the community. However, in order to achieve this, the hospices need a sustainable funding solution from the Welsh Government. This will further the ambition to create a more compassionate Wales, one that values the importance of caring for a child towards the end of their unfairly short life and supports their family through the most difficult of times.
Ahead of the Welsh Government’s budget for 2022/23 Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith are urging the Welsh Government to increase the statutory support for children’s hospices in Wales above the existing 10 percent – which leaves the two hospices almost entirely reliant on the generosity of the Welsh public. We want to see a move towards a more sustainable model of funding, with statutory support offered at around 21 percent, providing equal standing with children’s hospices in England.
Speaking of the Welsh Government budget, the Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan Maria Timon Samra said: “Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith children’s hospices provide care and support to hundreds of children and their families across Wales every year. Our services encompass every aspect of a child and their families’ lives – from childbirth to bereavement, ensuring every member of the family receives the support they deserve.
“Our aim is that no child and their family go without in Wales, but we need the support of the Government to achieve this.”
Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith, Andy Goldsmith added: “We welcome the ongoing hospice funding review commissioned by the Welsh Government and remain hopeful that the review will address the problem that the hospices that serve children in Wales are still not securely funded.”
“What we now need to see is an uplift in funding for children’s hospices, so that we can, in partnership with the NHS, offer every child with complex and life-limiting conditions the care and support they need and every family across Wales a meaningful choice between home, hospice or hospital as the end-of-life approaches.”
While on site to film with the hospices for an ITV Wales news piece, South Wales East MS Peredur Owen Griffiths said: “Tŷ Hafan and Ty Gobaith children’s hospices provide exceptional care and support for hundreds of children and their families each year in Wales. Despite this, the two hospices are almost entirely reliant on the generosity of the Welsh public to offer their unique and crucial services.
“While the Welsh Government hospice funding review was a welcome step towards a more sustainable funding solution for the hospices, it is yet to be seen what additional funding will be made available. I urge the Government to include an uplift in funding for Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith in the draft budget for 2022/23, allowing them the confidence to plan for the future, expand their reach right across Wales and continue providing essential care and support to some of Wales’ most vulnerable children and their families.”