Sector faces perfect storm of rising demand, rising costs and uncertain finances

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity shares the grave concern among the wider children’s palliative care sector that statutory funding is not keeping pace with the rising cost of delivering the care that children and their families need.

The Acorns Children’s Hospice group in the Midlands has recently begun a consultation with staff on a proposal to close its Walsall hospice, while Shooting Star Chase in Surrey has stated that it plans only to support children and young people in their final year of life unless local and national government funding doubles.

Zillah Bingley, Rainbow Trust Chief Executive, said:

“Children’s palliative care has been ignored for too long, with community and hospice services alike facing a perfect storm of rising demand and rising costs, alongside uncertain finances.

For Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, years of sustained cuts to local government funding mean that we now need to fundraise more than 97% of our income in a challenging economic environment, with no central government funding.

This is despite the fact that the number of families needing our support is increasing year on year, as more seriously ill babies survive birth, and as more children live longer with their complex conditions owing to advances in medical technology.

These cuts are a false economy because it is clear that providing the right support at an early point can save many thousands of pounds in costs for the health, social care and education system, by preventing the need for more costly interventions when families are not supported at the most difficult of times.”