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MS calls for funding to protect north Wales hospices from cuts

20 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Matthew Brindley, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Hospice UK, Llyr Gruffydd MS and Huw Owen, Public Affairs Manager for Ty Hafan and Ty Gobaith.

An MS has called for adequate funding to be made available for hospices in north Wales as they face having to make cuts to services.

Llŷr Gruffydd MS, who represents the region in the Senedd, said he’s “worried” after hearing that 90% of Welsh hospices are budgeting for a deficit in 2023/24.

He has told Welsh Government ministers to “ensure that the sector has the resources it needs”.

North Wales is home to several hospices, including St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph, Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham, Tŷ Gobaith in Conwy, and St David’s Hospice, which has sites in Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead.

Charitable hospices provide critical care to over 20,000 people affected by terminal illness each year in Wales.

Stark challenges

The Plaid Cymru MS has spoken out following a meeting with members of Hospices Cymru to hear about the valuable contribution the third sector makes to palliative and end of life care.

He pointed out that if it was forced to make cuts to services it would increase pressure on the Welsh NHS, which is already under considerable strain.

Charitable end of life care providers are facing stark challenges at a time of increasing need. The number of children with life-limiting conditions in Wales is on the rise, with 1 in 172 under 18s having a life limiting condition.

Hospices Cymru represents Wales’ fifteen charitable hospices who provide essential care to people affected by life-limiting and terminal illnesses across the country.

Its members work to ensure everyone has equal access to high quality holistic hospice and palliative care, delivered in their preferred place and which supports and cares for their family and loved ones.

Mr Gruffydd said: “The critical care that hospices provide, not only to individuals who are affected by terminal illness, but to our wider healthcare infrastructure in Wales is often overlooked and undervalued.

“Their ability to provide these services hinges on them receiving the necessary funding to make them possible.

“I am worried to learn that 90% of Welsh hospices are budgeting for a deficit in 2023/24 and that many providers are seriously considering making cuts to services because of that.

“This would not only impact the people who rely on the services but it would also have a knock on effect on the Welsh NHS which would be put under increasing pressure because of the need to fill the gap.

He added: “In the ongoing palliative care funding review Welsh Government ministers have a duty to ensure that the sector has the resources it needs.

“On Hospice Care Week, I want to extend my heartfelt support to hospices across North Wales and thank them for the very important work they do.”

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