19/11/2014

£1m Funding Announced For Children's Hospice

£1m funding has been announced for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, together with Health Minister Jim Wells, announced the funding today.

The funding will enable the Hospice to develop services in three new projects: 'Development of Care Outside the Family Home', 'Development of Family Support Services' and 'Development of Exceptional Care Provision'.

The Hospice was established in 1998 and delivers care to around 300 children each year. There are dedicated children’s hospices in Newtownabbey and Enniskillen, as well as community services in each Trust area.

Speaking at the Children’s Hospice at Newtownabbey, the First Minister said: "There are currently over 1,300 children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families living in Northern Ireland. At any one time, up to 300 children and families are receiving the high quality, person centred palliative and end of life care that only the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice can provide.

"The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice is the only service of its type within Northern Ireland caring for children and young people with very complex needs and today’s announcement of £1million over two years will ensure that the outstanding care the Hospice provides for those children suffering with life limited conditions and their families will be maintained."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "It is every parent’s worst nightmare for their child to get seriously ill or develop a life limiting condition. Unfortunately this is the situation many families find themselves in. As the child and their family embark on their journey the Children’s Hospice provides unconditional help and support at the time they need it most. Anyone who has ever visited or used the facilities at the Children’s Hospice will know it is an extraordinary place. The support is designed around the child and their family so as far as possible they can live a life without limitations."

The Department of Health said that annual running costs of the NI Children’s Hospice services are in the region of £3m, 80% of which is generated through public and corporate fundraising, trusts and donors.

(IT/CD)

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