Extra £25 million for hospices to ease end-of-life care

Boris Johnson unveils an additional £25 million funding for hospices in a bid to ease end-of-life care 

The funding will come from existing NHS budgets and will alleviate some pressure on hospices which receive most of their financial support from the voluntary sector.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Seeing a loved one nearing the end of their life is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience, so it’s vital that we support our fantastic and hardworking hospice staff to deliver the highest quality palliative care.

“As Prime Minister I am making sure that today our hospices and palliative care services are given a £25 million boost to alleviate the everyday pressures faced on the frontline, helping to ensure they have the resources they need, when they need them.”

Downing Street said the money would help to keep hospices open, “improve the quality of end of life care”, and ensure that people “die as comfortably as possible” – as well as easing workforce pressures.

This additional funding comes at the same time as hospices are under acute financial pressure with, for the first time, one of Britain’s hospices having to close its doors this year.

According to the Government, hospices support more than 200,000 people with terminal or life-limiting conditions every year, as well as help “tens of thousands” of family members needing bereavement support.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This extra £25 million is extremely welcome not only for people needing hospice care and their families, but also for a society which values the lives of people with terminal or life-limiting conditions.”

“In Oregon, which has had assisted suicide since 1997, over 25% of all those who end their own lives through medically assisted suicide, list “inadequate pain control” as one of their end of life concerns. Almost 45% of people list “burden on family, friends/caregivers” as a concern.”

“Both of these problems can be greatly alleviated by effective and compassionate hospice care. If we want Britain to remain a country free from assisted suicide and euthanasia, one of the most effective things that can be done is to ensure a strong hospice system and excellent end of life care.”

Boris Johnson: Abortion should not be imposed on Northern Ireland

Conservative Party leadership contender and possible future Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the question of abortion law in Northern Ireland “is for the people of Northern Ireland and their politicians”.

In the Conservative Belfast Leadership Hustings on Tuesday 2nd July, Mr Johnson made clear his support for abortion remaining a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and recognised that it was not right for Westminster to impose abortion on the region.

He said: “I think that is pre-eminently a matter for the people of Northern Ireland, and that is why…I hope that the Government in Northern Ireland can be resumed as soon as possible so that this issue can be decided in the forum where it properly belongs. In other words, at Stormont.”

He added “This is for the people of Northern Ireland and their politicians.”

Both remaining Conservative Party leadership candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have now stated their support that Westminster should not impose abortion on Northern Ireland, and that it should remain a devolved issue.

This position reflects the sentiment among MPs in the Conservative Party and the public in Northern Ireland on the issue with  72% of Conservative MPs and the majority of women in Northern Ireland being in favour of continued devolution of abortion law in the region.

Dawn McAvoy co-founder of the Both Lives Matters campaign, who support both women and unborn children in Northern Ireland, commented, 

“Our distinctive law in Northern Ireland strikes a difficult and delicate balance which means that over 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today because politicians here did not implement the 1967 Abortion Act.” 

“For the last few years there has been a strong push from a small number of abortion advocates to change the law to allow more abortion in Northern Ireland. They are clearly out of step. We welcome today’s news and will continue to pursue the very simple and human vision that both lives matter alongside our efforts to secure even more valuable services which allow both lives to flourish in a pregnancy crisis. .”