Sue Ryder holds parliamentary roundtable on the future of funding for the hospice sector

On 16th June, Sue Ryder and Robbie Moore MP hosted a roundtable with MPs and hospice charities discussing the funding challenges facing the sector.

“A surprise to many that their local hospice is reliant on the generosity of the public"

During the event, MPs, peers and hospice leaders explored the implications of the current funding situation for hospice care and the people who use their services, including people living in the community at the end of life.

Presentations from Sue Ryder’s Chief Executive, Heidi Travis, and Chief Operating Officer, Alan Bowers, as well as Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at Marie Curie, set out what needs to be done to guarantee the survival of hospices across the country and help ensure that in the future everyone has the best possible care at the end of life.

To better understand the current funding situation for hospices, MPs and peers were shown a new and exclusive animation.

Watch the video

Speaking at the event, Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said:

“I think it will come as a surprise to many that their local hospice is reliant on the generosity of members of the public who choose to donate or fundraise.

“It is vital that the independent hospice sector is placed on a secure financial footing if it is to meet growing demand – demand that is already unmet in quite significant numbers, impacting the quality of life for people who are dying and leaving behind massive repercussions for their loved ones.

“It is because it is so important that we get end of life care right that we are making the case for a significant increase in statutory funding for hospices."

Infographic depicting the text: "37% of total charity expenditure on palliative care services is covered by statutory funding."

Pledging his support, Robbie Moore, Member of Parliament for Keighley, said:

"Hospices provide essential care, allowing people to spend the end of their lives in a supportive and caring environment with their family and loved ones. I've seen the dedication and expert care given to people in my local Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope. 

"There is no doubt everyone who needs it should receive this type of care – indeed it’s this type of personalised care that the government wants to see more of."

"Today's roundtable gave the opportunity to discuss the funding challenges facing the hospice sector, and to look for solutions so that hospices can continue to provide their vital support at the most difficult periods of people and their families' lives."

Research reveals the scale of the funding shortfall

Sue Ryder recently published an independent report highlighting the scale of the funding issues facing the independent hospice sector. The report reveals how stark the current funding shortfall is for many hospices, how demand for palliative care is expected to grow in the coming years, and the very real challenges that are now facing the hospice sector and its ability to be a part of future palliative care provision if no new additional statutory funding is forthcoming.

Infographic depicting the text: "The number of people receiving palliative care services is set to increase by 58% over the next ten years."

Whilst the government has provided valuable one-off funding in the past year to allow hospices to support our NHS during the pandemic, the hospice sector has papered over the cracks for as long as possible. The country’s hospices can no longer operate with ad hoc financial ‘top-ups’ that do not fundamentally address the serious long term funding challenges. It would be a massive loss to society if hospices were not able to continue doing the amazing work they carry out day in and day out.

Championing the cause in Parliament

MPs and peers can support our call by:

  • Seeking a parliamentary debate to raise awareness of the funding crisis
  • Tabling written questions or raising at departmental question time in Parliament
  • Writing to the minister to raise your concerns about the future of palliative care funding
  • Tweeting your support using the hashtag #FundHospiceCare
  • Initiating a Private Member's Bill seeking to increase statutory funding for palliative care
  • Raising the issue with your parliamentary colleagues and support Sue Ryder’s efforts to build parliamentary support.

For further information, or for draft letters, PQs or other resources to support you, please contact our Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Leanne Creighton:

Leanne.Creighton@sueryder.org