THE chief executive of Hope House Children’s Hospices says he is ‘greatly relieved’ by today’s announcement that emergency funding will be made available to help keep hospices running during ‘lock down’.

On Wednesday, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, announced that £200 million of funding would be made available to the 200+ childrens’ and adults’ hospices across the UK.

Hope House Children’s Hospices, which covers Shropshire, Cheshire, Mid and North Wales with Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith, have suspended all forthcoming fundraising events. Its 15 shops are closed.

The charity relies on fundraising, donations and shop sales to pay for more than 80% of its annual £6.5 million running costs.

Chief Executive Andy Goldsmith said his charity was greatly relieved by the announcement, and hugely grateful to the Minister and the UK Government for its timely and significant financial support.

He said: “As a charity that relies on fundraising to pay the doctors, nurses, carers and the team that support them, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been significant and, like most businesses across the UK, we have seen our income fall significantly in recent days.

“We have taken steps to reduce our costs and furloughed many staff, releasing them to volunteer to help the national effort, but as this pandemic accelerates hospices have an increasingly important role to play in providing critical and end of life care.

“This funding will ensure we can stay open and our dedicated health care staff will be at work providing care and comfort to seriously ill children and their families.”

To protect children and families, Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith have already appealed to people not to visit either hospice, and arranged for as many essential staff as possible to work from home.

Crisis nursing and end of life care is being provided in the hospices, while community teams are providing telephone support to other families.

Director of Care Karen Wright said: “We are planning for the worst and working for the best. We are as committed as ever and will do everything in our power to take care of one another.”

Marie Curie's director of policy and public affairs Simon Jones added: “The Chancellor’s announcement for Hospices in England today is very welcome, we hope that the Welsh Assembly will pass on the consequential funding to hospices in Wales and healthcare community services. Charities providing frontline palliative care services, supporting terminally ill people and those coming to the end of their lives, including some with COVID19 have faced a devastating loss of fundraised income. Without that income our essential services will struggle to continue to support those patients who need us the most.

“We are all in this crisis together and Marie Curie, as the UK’s leading end of life care charity, wants to continue to play our part to support Wales through this difficult period. We are fully committed to continuing to provide compassionate care to many more dying patients, serve the public, and support the NHS in Wales.”