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Covid-19: Hospices

Volume 675: debated on Tuesday 5 May 2020

We are providing up to £200 million to hospices over the next three months to support their work alongside the NHS as part of the national response—by, for instance, providing spare bed capacity in community care to take pressure off hospitals, supporting vulnerable patients, and, of course, supporting those in need of palliative care. I am sure that my hon. Friend will be pleased to know that Sue Ryder, which runs one of his local hospices, received £5.9 million in April.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. It is indeed great news that the Government are providing £200 million for those nearing the end of their lives. When does he expects hospices such as Thorpe Hall to receive that funding? In recognition of just how vital palliative care is, might we look to reform the way in which we commission palliative care when this crisis is over?

There are lots of things that we will need to learn when this crisis is over. The hospice system has always had a mixed model of funding—a very strong history of philanthropic support, as well as support and financial funding for the services it provides that the NHS commissions. The funding has started to flow. If there is a specific problem locally, I would like to know about it, and then we can get to the bottom of it.