In a debate on support for end of life care providers, Munira highlighted the plight of children’s hospices and urgently called for them to be given greater government support.
Hospices, including Shooting Star House in Hampton, are not classified by the Government as an “energy intensive” sector, meaning that they miss out on the highest level of support. This is despite the significant energy demands of running essential medical equipment and keep vulnerable children and their families warm.
With Shooting Star’s energy costs projected to skyrocket from £90,000 per year to £230,000 by September, the charity may end up making heart-breaking decisions to cut back on care for children who are terminally ill or have life-limiting conditions.
This hike in energy costs will leave the hospice £140,000 poorer – money which could be used to fund Shooting Star’s family support line for three years or pay the salary of three nurses.
The crisis hospices are facing over energy bills is only worsened by the Government’s lack of commitment to protecting their existing funding through the Children’s Hospice Grant.
£1 in every £6 children’s hospices currently spend on care comes from this grant administered by NHS England. This is vital investment in the sector, but there is no certainty over what will happen beyond 2024, when this round of funding is due to end.
Munira has made repeated calls for hospices like Shooting Star to be protected from the worst of the energy crisis, so they can continue providing invaluable end of life care.
Following the debate, Munira wrote to the Secretary of State for Energy Security, Grant Shapps, with her Liberal Democrat colleague, Tim Farron MP, calling on the Government to include hospices in the highest level of energy bill support. Read the full letter here.