HL Deb 09 December 2002 vol 642 c14WA
Lord Hayhoe

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What discussions are taking place with strategic health authorities to determine whether the additional funds intended for hospices are reaching the front line services; and what action is contemplated if shortfalls are established or suspected. [HL281]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Ministers have asked the National Cancer Director to work with the National Health Service and the voluntary sector to develop proposals for a new approach to specialist palliative care funding. The joint NHS and voluntary sector working group set up by the Director is charged to ensure delivery of the pledge in the NHS Cancer Plan to increase investment in specialist palliative care by £50 million by 2004 and to develop a mechanism to secure long term funding and planning. Representatives from strategic health authorities (StHAs) are members of the working group.

To support this initiative the Secretary of State for Health has made available an extra £10 million for specialist palliative care services, including hospices, in 2002–03. This funding has been distributed to primary care trusts (PCTs) with clear instructions that it must be spent on specialist palliative care. Strategic health authorities have been asked to ensure joint NHS and voluntary sector agreement to the use of the money. Strategic health authorities are required to authorise investment and outturn reports from PCTs which demonstrate appropriate use of this additional resource.