I recently visited the CHASE children’s hospice, near Godalming to learn about their work and hear concerns over future funding. I met staff and some of the children. I was deeply impressed by the amazing work they do at CHASE and the obvious dedication that is put into the care and support of the children and their families.
Bridget Turner, CHASE’s Deputy Chief Executive said, “CHASE currently benefits from a government grant. It represents about 10% so we still rely on raising funds from the public for 90% of the income we need. However even this grant is due finish in March 2011. The government expects the local health economy to replace the crucial funds that this grant has provided. We are very worried about this as we know that any extra money allocated to PCTs to do this is not ring fenced so there is no guarantee it will be used for Children’s Palliative Care at all. This is especially concerning in the absence of specific targets for PCTs to improve services for children, teenagers and young people that will have tragically short lives. All this can only increase the vulnerability of sustaining such vital services like those CHASE provides.”
I will do all I can to put pressure on the government to provide at least as much support to CHASE as they have done in the past. The work they do should not depend solely on the generosity of the public through donations. Government has a duty to support the care that CHASE provides. There are few, if any, more worthy recipients of State funding.