Equal funding should be given to hospices

Rowan's worker Jacquie Upton at a bedside.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (113296-3)
Rowan's worker Jacquie Upton at a bedside. Picture: Paul Jacobs (113296-3)

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THE chief executive of the Rowans Hospice has welcomed an independent review calling for equal funding to be given to centres across the country.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley called for the Palliative Care Funding Review to be undertaken, which found some hospices received more funding than others.

The Rowans needs £4.1m to run each year – of which 17 per cent (£850,000) is provided through government grants.

But some hospices get up to 50 per cent.

Chief executive Ruth White said: ‘The review unearthed huge disparities with money – it can range from around £600 per death, right up to £6,000.

‘This funding review is basically saying this inequity needs to be abolished.’

The Rowans, in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook, receives its government funding through NHS Portsmouth and NHS Hampshire.

The amount given is based on an historical relationship since the hospice opened 17 years ago.

‘What would be ideal is if the government could cover the medical costs – so providing doctors and nurses – and then other money could be spent on extending other services,’ added Mrs White.

‘We spend about 80 per cent of our money on paying for medical services, if we could get 40 to 50 per cent from the government then it would be a great help.

‘We would still need donations from people, who do so much to help already.’