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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the £50 million he announced to support the hospice movement has (a) been allocated and (b) been spent; and if he will list the recipients of the funds. [128954]

[holding answer 11 September 2003]: The additional £50 million per annum has been made available to support specialist care, including hospices, for three years beginning 2003–04. This extra £50 million is to help tackle inequalities in access to specialist palliative care in a range of settings, including hospices and to enable the national health service to increase their contribution to the cost hospices incur in providing agreed levels of service. The level of funding agreed for hospices, both from the additional £50 million and from local resources, is a matter for local discussion and decision.All 34 cancer networks were asked to submit their proposed investment plan for the use of their allocation from the £50 million to the National Partnership Group for palliative care. The National Partnership Group—a joint NHS/voluntary sector group—has assessed all the investment plans and 32 cancer network plans have now been approved and funding allocated for specialist palliative care services. The use of funds will be monitored against plans. It is anticipated that information will be available on the first year's funding during 2004.