§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what support his Department gives to the hospice movement; in what form it is given; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
The level and form of support for individual hospices is a matter for local health authorities who were given detailed guidance on this earlier in the year in circular HC(87)4, a copy of which is in the Library. This statedWhere a voluntary group provides a service that represents an essential element in a health authority's overall plans for terminal care, the health authority should agree with them a contribution to the costs of that service".
Patients in independent hospices may be eligible for supplementary benefit to help with charges up to £230 per 253W week. Specialist in-patient, home care and hospital support services for the terminally ill are also provided directly by a number of health authorities.
The Department has approved direct grants of £600,000 to the London Lighthouse which is building the first hospice specifically for people with AIDS, and £200,000 to the Mildmay Mission hospital towards the cost of adapting one ward into a unit to provide hospice care for people terminally ill with AIDS.