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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the contribution of hospices to the work of the NHS. [116070]

We greatly appreciate the excellent work done by all hospices in supporting people who are suffering from terminal or life threatening illnesses. Indeed, the voluntary hospice movement in the United Kingdom is considered a world leader in palliative care.In the NHS Cancer Plan published in September 2000, we pledged that the National Health Service contribution to the costs of specialist palliative care, including hospices, would increase by £50 million by 2004 to help tackle inequalities in access to specialist palliative care and to enable the NHS to make a realistic contribution to the costs hospices incur in providing agreed levels of services.We have set up a central budget of £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care for three years from 2003–04. This represents an increase of nearly 40 per cent. in NHS funding for specialist palliative care services over 2000 levels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on funding given to hospices through the NHS; how much funding from the NHS will be given to children's hospices in 2003–04; and how much funding from the NHS will be given to (a) Derian House and (b) Catherine's Hospice in 2003–04. [116397]

Primary care trusts have a pivotal role in assessing the extent of health care needs within their catchment area and funding service provision, including adult hospice and children's hospice services. The level of funding agreed is a matter for local discussion.A central budget of an additional £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care, including hospices, has been set up for the three years beginning 2003–04. This funding is specifically to meet the commitments and aims set out in the NHS Cancer Plan. The extra £50 million represents an increase of about 38 per cent. in the amount of National Health Service funding being put into adult specialist palliative care over 2000 levels and means that the pledge in the NHS Cancer Plan will be more than met. Allocation from this £50 million to local cancer networks will be made once network investment plans have been approved by the joint NHS/voluntary sector group—National Partnership Group.During 2002–03,Chorley and South Ribble Primary Care Trust provided £472,000 to St. Catherine's Hospice and £11,000 to Derian House. These amounts will be uplifted to reflect inflation during 2003–04 prior to any further allocation which may be made from the £50 million.