HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 cc368-9W
Mr. Ruffley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the National Cancer Plan money that has been allocated so far for palliative care has been received by(a) voluntary based hospices and (b) NHS hospices. [97389]

Ms Blears

The NHS Cancer Plan, published in September 2000, pledged that the National Health Service contribution to the costs of specialist palliative care, including hospices would increase by £50 million by 2004.

Estimates from Help the Hospices show that the level of statutory funding for voluntary hospices has increased by 14 per cent, in cash terms over the past two years. To enable faster progress towards the commitment to increase NHS investment in specialist palliative care by £50 million by 2003–04, we have made available an extra £10 million from central budgets for specialist palliative care for 2002–03.

A central budget of £50 million per annum for the year 2003–04 to 2005–06 has been set up for specialist palliative care. I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave to my hon. Friend, the hon. Member for Jarrow (Stephen Hepburn) today.