Hospices reliant on people’s generosity due to lack of funding, MPs warn

Hospices are overly reliant on income from charity fundraising due to a lack of Government funding, MPs have warned, in a Backbench Business Committee debate today.

Members on both sides of the House discussed a lack of government funding for hospices in their constituencies that left many with rising budget deficits and created a “postcode lottery” for palliative care.

Opening the debate, Conservative MP Sally-Ann Hart said the current funding model that is reliant on fundraising is “uncertain and unsustainable” for hospices.

Ms Hart said hospices are “heavily dependent on the generosity of local individuals, companies, groups and trusts – this funding model is uncertain and unsustainable, and places hospices under considerable strain”.

The MP for Hastings and Rye added: “We should all want to see the best support available for those people that are nearing the end of their lives, as well as their families. And excellent palliative care, support for people mentally, physically and spiritually is vital.”

Ms Hart further stated: “The future of end of life care is uncertain, as increasing costs and demands are putting huge demands on hospices and care providers.”

It costs Acorns around £11 million every year to continue and the charity is heavily reliant on fundraising to continue. Two thirds of the income needed to provide its specialist palliative care in the West Midlands and Gloucestershire comes from people donating, fundraising from the community and events, and profits from charity shops.

Catch up on the full debate here.