Eluned Morgan announces £4m in Government Funding for Welsh Hospices

Health Secretary Eluned Morgan has announced £4m of government funding for Welsh hospices to continue their vital work.

The funding will ensure people across Wales continue to receive palliative and end-of-life care from the network of hospices, which traditionally rely on fundraising and charitable donations.  The cost-of-living crisis has made fundraising increasingly difficult, making it harder for hospices to retain and recruit staff – with many organisations having to consider whether they can continue to maintain the services, which are provided free of charge to patients.

The £4m, which will be shared by Wales’ 12 commissioned hospices, will help them maintain services, meet staffing costs, and improve the quality of end-of-life care provided to individuals and families.

More than £770,000 will go to the two children’s hospices – Ty Gobaith and Ty Hafan – which support children and young people living with a life-limiting condition.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan said:

“Hospices and end-of-life care services are highly valued, and they play a really important role in supporting families at some of the most difficult times in their lives.

“They also support the NHS to provide essential care to around 20,000  who need palliative and end-of-life care every year.

“This funding will help to ensure they can continue to provide these vital services and keep on providing high-quality care across Wales.

Chair of Hospices Cymru and Chief Executive for City Hospice, Liz Booyse said:

“Every year, thousands of adults and children facing life-limiting illnesses turn to charitable hospices in Wales for expert care and trusted support, for them and their families.

“Members of Hospices Cymru welcome Welsh Government’s recognition and support of the essential role Welsh hospices play in delivering palliative care and end-of-life services, in collaboration with the NHS.

“As the demand for our services continues to grow, we also welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to develop a sustainable funding arrangement with Welsh hospices. This commitment is vital for ensuring the ongoing continuity of the critical services we provide to communities across Wales.

Policy and Advocacy Manager Wales for Hospice UK, Matthew Brindley said:

“We welcome Welsh Government’s recognition and support for Welsh hospices as valued and equal partners with the NHS. This support will help ensure our members can continue providing essential care to 20,000 people affected by terminal illnesses each year, taking pressure off the NHS.

“But hospices still face an uncertain future with ever-increasing complexity of care and cost of living pressures. This money gives hospices much-needed support and security now, but we will need to work with Welsh Government and health boards to develop a more sustainable and equitable funding solution that recognises the critical partnership role Welsh hospices play delivering care with our NHS colleagues.

Marie Curie Cymru Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Services, Rachel Jones, said:

“Today’s announcement of funding to support charitable hospices in Wales is welcome but we need a more sustainable funding model. Charitable hospices in Wales, like the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale, are vital partners to the wider health and social care system. Providing essential care and support to individuals at the end of life and those close to them and reducing pressures on the NHS.

“As a charity, we are fortunate to have amazing supporters who help raise vital funds to enable us to deliver services to support and care for individuals and their loved ones across Wales, but relying on this generosity is not sustainable and we are not isolated from the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

“With more people requiring palliative and end of life care in the future it is critical that we can continue to explore what is needed to establish a genuinely sustainable funding model to ensure that people receive the best possible palliative and end of life care. We look forward to continuing to work with the National Programme Board for Palliative and End of Life Care on this.

The funding is part of phase 3 of the Welsh Government’s end-of-life care review; £4m was provided to support hospices in 2023 to 2024.