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Children's palliative care boost

Published: 14 Oct 2016 15:20

£30 million investment in CHAS.

Health Secretary Shona Robison has announced plans for increased investment in specialist children's palliative care and end of life services.

As part of this, the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) is to receive approximately £30 million over the next five years to support its vital work with children with life-shortening conditions and their families.

CHAS hospices in Kinross and Balloch offer families short planned breaks, emergency support, end of life care and a range of bereavement services. The charity also provides a home care service, helping families when they need it most.

Ms Robison said:

"We're committed to ensuring that everyone who needs palliative care can get it by the end of this parliament. To help deliver this we're giving a new focus to specialist children's palliative care services.

"We know caring for a child with a life-shortening condition can place extreme demands on families, and CHAS are a vital part of the support mechanisms in place in Scotland.

"This funding of approximately £30 million over the next five years will help support a huge number of children and families through the most difficult circumstances, ensuring they are able to spend quality time together. Alongside the fantastic fundraising by the organisation, this investment will make a huge difference to the work CHAS is able to undertake."

Professor Gordon Dickson, CHAS Chairperson, said:

"I welcome the Scottish Government's funding commitment for CHAS and appreciate its confidence that CHAS will continue to deliver exemplary palliative care for children in Scotland.

"This investment supports the Scottish Government's commitment to promote children's palliative care for children and young people.

"We are the national hospice service for children in Scotland and we know that more and more babies, children and young people need our care. The prevalence of children and young people in Scotland with life-shortening conditions has risen by 50% in the last 10 years.

"We want to reach all families who need our care, and increased and sustainable statutory and voluntary funding will allow us to further our service. Today's commitment by the Scottish Government is an encouraging step towards all children in Scotland getting the palliative care they need."