Hospices are to benefit from up to £60 million of funding to help improve the quality of care for people nearing the end of their lives, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced today.
The funding - which is open to all adult and children’s hospices in England - will help improve care for patients and families by enhancing the hospice environment, as well as supporting the care hospices provide to people in their own homes.
Hospices will be able to apply for funding for a range of projects, including:
- Improvements to day-therapy facilities, including providing transport services;
- Developing or improving out-reach services to support people in their own homes;
- Refurbishment of inpatient and visitor areas, including improvements to bedrooms and bathrooms and providing overnight facilities for families;
- Improvements to mortuary and bereavement facilities; and
- Improvements to gardens and outside spaces so patients can spend time outdoors.
The principal requirements are that projects deliver improvements that directly benefit patients, have a tangible impact on the physical environment and provide value for money.
Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, said:
“Our surroundings at the end of our lives play a critical role in our wellbeing.
“This money will help hospices all over the country make improvements such as redesigning rooms or putting in place facilities to help people remain independent.
“We are making this investment because we want hospices to be able to provide dignified, compassionate, high quality care and support to people and their families at what is a difficult time in their lives.”
Paul Burstow is visiting St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham, today to see the major refurbishments the hospice was able to carry out after receiving funding through the capital grants scheme.
Dame Barbara Monroe, Chief Executive of St Christoper’s Hospice inLondon, said:
“A Department of Health grant gave us the opportunity to reconfigure the ground floor to create a light-filled multipurpose space with exceptional facilities for patients and families.
“The new social space known as The Anniversary Centre also houses a full programme of activities to encourage the public into the hospice for concerts, Sunday lunch and a community choir as well as our Schools Project which has now worked with over 40 schools.
“If everyone is to get good end of life care it is vital that we all learn to confront our fears about death and have opportunities to talk to one another about what we want at the end of our lives.”
Welcoming the announcement, David Praill, Chief Executive of Help the Hospices, said:
“In these challenging times, investment in hospices is vital so they can modernise and expand in order to meet the growing needs of the communities they serve.
“This new grant programme will make a huge difference to the quality of care that hospices provide to people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses at home and in hospices.
“Developing physical hospice environments as well as outreach services to support people at home will mean that that people nearing the end of life can have greater choice over where and how they are cared for, allowing them greater dignity and more independence.”
Barbara Gelb, Chief Executive, Together for Short Lives, said:
“We are delighted that England’s children’s hospice services will have the chance to benefit from this funding to enhance the lives of the thousands of children and families who need their support.
“We will work with the Department and the children’s hospices to help make sure that the money is used to make the greatest impact.”
Details on how and when hospices can apply for the capital grant scheme will be announced shortly.
Notes to editors
For further information please contact the Department of Health’s press office on 020 7210 5317.
A total of 123 grants were awarded to 116 hospices through the 2010/11 capital grants scheme.