WHY WE MUST SAVE OUR HOSPICES
I secured and led a debate on the need for improved fiscal support for the hospice sector as they face an existential crisis.
Hospices are a hugely important part of our health and care provision and help patients to die free from pain and suffering, which is also a huge comfort to the bereaved.
As of 01st April, the support hospices receive with energy costs will be the same as the level of support provided to hospitality businesses.
Energy intensive industries will receive enhanced ongoing government support with high energy costs, but hospices, which deliver essential end-of-life palliative care to around 300,000 people every year in the UK will see a cut in their level of support they receive with energy bills.
Unlike many businesses, hospices do not have the option to cut their energy consumption, as extensive electrical equipment, such as oxygen pumps and ventilators, need to be kept on and inpatient units need to be warm for those in their care. They are also unable to simply pass the costs on to their customers.
As well as a recognition of the special status for hospices with regard to energy support, I also urged the UK Government to provide sustainable long-term financial support in the forthcoming Spring Statement, as it is unfathomable that such a critical part of our health care system, receives the majority of its funding from charitable donations from the public, which is, by definition, insecure, and much more so during a cost of living crisis. See below 👇.