Helen Malo, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Scotland said: "We’re disappointed to see no additional funding for hospices in the draft Scottish budget, at a time when many are struggling. Hospices across Scotland are facing a collective deficit of £16 million because of statutory funding not keeping pace with historic and recent cost rises, in particular the cost to hospices of matching NHS pay awards to pay their dedicated staff a fair wage. To expect hospices to match this through further fundraising, at a time when their local communities may be struggling themselves, is increasingly untenable.

Hospices support people at the most vulnerable time of their lives, but they urgently need financial support to ensure their services are here now and in the future. Hospice staff must be valued for the vital work they do and be treated on a par with NHS colleagues. Scottish Government needs to recognise the fragility of hospice funding and provide them with the support they urgently need to continue to care for dying people."