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Drive to improve children's palliative care

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The government has launched a £20m strategy to improve children’s palliative care services.

There is currently a grant of £27m from 2006-09 for childrens’ hospices and hospice-at-home care. Today’s announcement extends this funding by £10m a year until 2011.

The strategy sets out a number of goals such as ensuring all children have a choice of care location, 24-hour access to multi-disciplinary teams and equal access to generic services, regardless of their condition.

Junior health minister Ivan Lewis said: ‘This is about a service-wide push to drive up quality and standards, which relies on getting everything – personalised services, commissioning frameworks, the right capacity – to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for parents and children.’

Barbara Gelb, chief executive of the Association of Children’s Hospices, said: ‘This is tremendous news for children’s hospice services and life-limited children and we are very grateful to the government. The overall strategy offers commissioners a first-rate route map to give life-limited children and their families the full range of services they need.’

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