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Express & Star comment: Time to stop taking hospices for granted

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

The funding struggles experienced by Acorns hospice have highlighted a key issue in this country's care system.

Donate now and help save Acorns

While hospitals and GPs get all the headlines, the work done by our hospices is often taken for granted.

Yet it is clear that without the vital services offered by hospices, the strain on the NHS would become even greater.

With that in mind, it is great to see that ministers are finally taking a close look at the whole system of funding.

Hopefully in the very near future a proper solution will be found that ends the reliance that hospices currently have on donations.

For Acorns, the start of a long battle to keep its Walsall hospice operational has just begun.

How you can donate:

  • Text ACORNS5 to 70025 to donate £5*
  • Text ACORNS10 to 70025 to donate £10*
  • Visit acorns.org.uk/appeal
  • Phone: 01564 825 037
  • *With texts you will be charged your donation, plus your standard network rate. Acorns receives at least 98 per cent of your donation as it will incur a two per cent admin charge for this service. By texting, you are agreeing for Acorns to phone or text you to tell you about our work and how you can help. If you wish to donate and not hear from Acorns again, text ACORNS5 NO to 70025. For more information call 01564 825 037. Acorns Children’s Hospice registered charity no: 700859.

The future of the site looked bleak a few weeks ago, but now hope is on the horizon after the Government announced NHS funding for children’s hospices will double to £25 million over the next five years.

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It means Acorns has a reprieve.

This is a positive step, particularly for the site's hard working staff and the 230 families that rely on its services.

But on its own it does not solve the problem.

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Acorns desperately needs £2 million to bridge a current funding gap, a figure it is trying to raise with the help of an Express & Star appeal.

Fundraising event have been organised, including some this past weekend, and people are already coming forward in their droves with donations.

Every penny that is raised will be spent on delivering vital care for children and families at the hospice.

Mark Lyttle, father of Isabella, centre, with Myah Lyttle and Kerrie Hunt during a fundraising run at Cofton Park

It is a national tragedy that funding for hospices has reached crisis point, with many sites around the country on the brink of closure.

The Forget Me Not children’s hospice in Bury has already been forced to shut its doors, highlighting the urgency of sorting out a national funding solution.

We urge everyone to give their support to Acorns, from members of the public, to organisations and businesses – every little helps.

But with services under threat, this is an issue that the Government cannot afford to drag its heels on.

It is time this country started treating hospices with the respect they deserve.

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