Disappointment as budget offers nothing for seriously ill children

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity is disappointed that the Chancellor’s Spring Budget has once again failed to deliver anything for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses. While we welcome that adult social care received an injection of £2 billion in additional funding, there was no new money announced for children’s social care.

Research by our partner Together for Short Lives found that the contribution from local authorities to the cost of providing children’s palliative care in the voluntary sector fell by 61 per cent between 2014-15 and 2015-16. Rainbow Trust receives just three per cent of its funding from local authorities. This is the equivalent of only 11 days in the year. In contrast children hospices receive an average of 22 per cent from both local authorities and national funding, and adult hospices receive 33 per cent.

More promisingly, the government announced that it will publish a green paper on social care funding in the year ahead. The paper will be a discussion document setting out possible courses of action for future policy and legislation in light of the pressure on social care.

Anne Harris, Director of Care, commented:

‘The Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to urgently address the downward trend in social care support for children, including those with life threatening and terminal illnesses and their families. We will continue to push hard for increased funding for essential social palliative care support for these children and their families.’