My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Ivan Lewis) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am announcing a review of the longer-term funding arrangements for palliative care services for children and young people who have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.
On 5 June I was pleased to announce new funding of £27 million spread over three years for children's hospice services. We have drawn up eligibility criteria for the grants in consultation with key stakeholders and I am delighted to say that applications for the children's hospice and children's hospice at home grant are now being made. The application form can be found on the Department of Health website at http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4138727&chk=91DtzU. The closing date for applications is 20 September 2006.
At the same time I also announced a review of children's hospice services and their funding arrangements. Children's hospices provide a valuable service for children and young people but they represent only one part of the range of palliative care services. I have therefore decided that the review should be extended to cover palliative care services for children and young people more generally. I expect the review to commence in the autumn.
We are drawing up the terms of reference for the review, in consultation with key stakeholders, and will publish these and announce the name of the person who will undertake the review when we can.