Enfield MP says there’s been huge neglect in hospice funding
Enfield North MP Joan Ryan and Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous have pledged to raise awareness with decision makers in parliament about funding for hospice care.
Joan Ryan told visitors to North London Hospice’s Health & Wellbeing Centre on Friday that she could see there had been a ‘huge amount of neglect’ when it came to funding the sector.
The comments came during Hospice Care Week at North London Hospice’s annual Care for a Cuppa coffee morning in Winchmore Hill in which members of the local community are invited to come and learn a little about the work of the hospice.
During a tour of the Health & Wellbeing Centre at Barrowell Green Ms Ryan was told about the £10 million a year cost to run the service, which enables care for around 2,500 people with life-limiting illnesses in Enfield, Barnet & Haringey each year. Only £3 million comes from NHS funding.
Ms Ryan said: “How do you raise £7 million a year? It’s amazing. I’m fully behind the notion of care in the community but hospices have had a huge amount of neglect. Funding should be better. More support is in order. Lobbying and raising awareness is what we, as MPs, can do.
She told staff, patients, volunteers and local residents: “I’ll be fully behind Bambos and his Bill. We’ll be speaking to other local MPs to get support. The slogan for Hospice Care Week is ‘Heart My Hospice’ and you certainly have my heart here. Thank you so much for what you do.”
The second House of Commons reading of Bambos Charalambous’ Bill titled Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) – known as Joy’s Billafter our patient Joy Watkins who inspired him to campaign for more support for hospices and carers – is scheduled for Friday 23 November.
Speaking at Friday’s coffee morning, Mr Charalambous, said: “Hospice care is seen as the Cinderella healthcare service. It’s so important for families to be having conversations about death and dying. We are doing all we can to make sure your voice is heard in parliament.”
Trudi Leighton, the Associate Director at NLH’s Health & Wellbeing Centre, said: “If there’s one message I would like you all to take away from today, it’s that a large amount of hospice care is about enabling people to live well for as long as they can.”
NLH Chair of Trustees Lis Burgess-Jones concluded: “We are all ambassadors for the hospice. Many more people could access our services. Please do spread the word.”
Patients, carers and local supporters are invited to attend an event at the House of Commons on Wednesday 21stNovember (committee room 8) 1-3pm prior to the Bill reading to meet MPs and highlight concerns or personal experiences in relation to palliative care and support for carers.