PROFESSOR Khalid Aziz, Chairman of Naomi House children’s hospice, today met with the Prime Minister to discuss funding for children’s hospices across the UK ¬– and was delighted with Mr. Cameron's response. Prof. Aziz was seeking a unified national model for children's hospice funding in the UK and to put public funding of children's hospices on a par with counterparts in the adult hospice network. Following today's discussions with the Naomi House chairman, and local MP's John Glen (Salisbury) and Steve Brine (Winchester), Mr. Cameron said : "I totally get this. I will write to the healthcare commission and suggest they take up this model immediately. I see no reason to delay."
Professor Aziz, who has long campaigned on behalf of Naomi House and children's hospices nationally, said : "Naturally, I am delighted with the outcome of this meeting. “We couldn't have asked for more. For well over 10 years now, we have been asking visiting MPs who've come to Naomi House and jacksplace to help us with this. They all try to help, but John Glen successfully asked the question of the Prime Minister one month ago and thankfully David Cameron said yes. We are very pleased indeed.
"The Primary Care Trusts in Wiltshire and Dorset have had an arrangement with us for a couple of years now where we get paid a certain amount of money for every young person we take from their particular area. What we really want is for that to be rolled out across all PCTs. This really ought to be regularised, after all children are every bit as important as adults.
“With almost no exception, members of the public say 'I can't believe you're not getting more money from the Government for this vital service'. We are doing something that, in the main, if we weren't doing it, the National Health Service have to pick up. We're not asking for all of our funding to come that way, but at least the bit that they would be doing in the NHS. Additionally, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to all the hardworking and dedicated staff and volunteers who staff hugely important establishments such as Naomi House & jacksplace."
The meeting took place in the House of Commons following the Prime Minister’s weekly session in PMQ’s.
John Glen, Conservative MP for Salisbury brokered the meeting back in December 2012. Steve Brine, MP for Winchester where Naomi House is located,said: “The Prime Minister has said many times he wants to put in place a per-patient funding system that would be for all hospices. This meeting was all about telling him such a system exists and is, in-part at least, working for Naomi House right now. Our aim was to get that across and encourage David Cameron to cut and paste this simple formula, via the new National Commissioning Board, across England so we can finally resolve children’s hospice funding in a reasonable and sustainable way.”
Naomi House currently receives less than 10 per cent of the £7million needed to run the hospice annually from the public purse. The average public income received by adult hospices equates to 38 per cent.