With political party manifestos launched and the General Election looming I am keen to challenge local parliamentary candidates to speak out on their views regarding Health and Social Care and particularly Palliative and End of Life Care.
In partnership with other hospices, Dorothy House Hospice Care, serves B&NES, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Dorothy House is responsible for caring for 1,000 patients per day and in the current economic climate this means that as a charity we are required to raise £4.00 for every £1.00 we receive from the NHS. This year our total expenditure on Palliative and End of Life Care was £12.5 million.
I invite all local candidates to talk to us and the care community about their position on Health and Social Care and future funding policy for Palliative and End of Life Care.
I would also welcome hearing about their commitment to the Better Care Fund, the merging of Health and Social Care funding and their approach towards the Sustainability Transformation Plans.
There is a real role for future MPs to play not just in supporting hospices locally but in providing a voice in Parliament for equity of access to palliative care in this country.
This is no longer just about cancer but providing support and services for the full range of life-limiting conditions, this issue will not go away. “Dementia and Cancer deaths in England and Wales are set to soar by 2040” (Cicely Saunders Institute – Sky News 18 May 2017).
The hospice sector needs support to push for:
- Greater investment in palliative care services at local level to help keep people out of hospital.
- Commitment and investment at both local and national level for education and training of health and social care professionals.
- Investment in the Third Sector, empowering it to create powerful partnerships delivering sustainable communities that deliver impact.
I look forward to talking to local parliamentary candidates further on T: 01225 722 988.
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John P A Davies
Dorothy House Hospice Care,