Michael Fabricant today (Monday 12th December) attended the All Party
Parliamentary Group for Hospice and Palliative Care following fears that
St Giles Hospice – and others – may face a funding shortfall from the
NHS. "St Giles Hospice receives around 35% of its budget from NHS
grants with the balance being raised from the community" says Michael
Fabricant. But in a letter to Michael, Peter Holliday, Group Chief
Executive of St Giles Hospice says "There are signs that NHS funding is
becoming much tighter and I still have several contracts not as yet
agreed for the financial year 2005-06, a situation which has never
arisen before. Meanwhile, the burden of regulation becomes ever more
severe to the extent that it can compromise the care that we give".
At the Parliamentary Meeting today, Michael Fabricant told attendees
which included other MPs, doctors, members of the Hospice movement and
patients: "I am very lucky to represent the Lichfield constituency
which has the excellent and successful St Giles Hospice which not only
cares for the sick and the dying, but also provides specialist help
with, among other services, the first ever lymphodoema clinic in the
country. This is in marked contrast to other parts of the country which
are not so well served.
"It would be unthinkable if any funding for these services were
reduced." Michael then pointed out: "In the medium term, hospice care
saves the NHS money as it provides a cost-effective and caring way to
provide palliative care in the community. It must not be jeopardised."
It was agreed that a delegation from the All Party Group will meet
Health Ministers in January to argue the case for funding.