Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, has today announced a three-month package of additional support worth up to £6.3 million for hospices in Wales.
Hospice services in Wales rely on charitable fundraising for around two thirds of their income and have experienced a short-fall in funding during the coronavirus outbreak.
The recent restrictions imposed during the outbreak have led to a drastic drop in that income as fundraising events are cancelled, charity shops close and campaigns paused. At the same time, the crisis is making their services even more essential.
The funding announced today will enable them to continue to provide their vital services even in the absence of this fundraising activity. It comes from the £1.1bn fighting fund created by the Welsh Government to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister said:
“I’m very pleased to be able to announce this support for our hospices to keep running during this difficult period.
As their normal charitable income dries up there is a very serious risk that hospice and end of life care services could slip into insolvency.
Hospice and end of life care services provided by the voluntary sector are a critical part of the NHS family, providing essential care to more than 20,000 people in Wales each year, and helping to prevent avoidable admission to hospital.
As the NHS prioritises treatment and care for people with COVID-19, hospice and end of life care services are more important than ever, providing service continuity to people affected by terminal illness.
This money will ensure they can continue to provide those vital services and high-quality care across Wales.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, says:
Hospice UK is delighted that the Welsh Government has recognised the importance of hospices in the COVID-19 response and the role they play in taking pressure of the NHS. This new money will enable us to support the current response to the pandemic.