Welsh Government have announced £4m to support hospice services across Wales, providing much-needed support to help hospices tackle rising costs. 

Like hospices across the UK, hospices in Wales are feeling immense financial pressure as rising costs stretch hospice finances to the brink, with many being forced to consider cutting vital services and draw on limited reserves to meet the shortfall. Amidst this challenging situation, ministers in Wales have announced a much-needed support package for hospices.

In Wales, hospices provide care and support to 20,000 people a year, playing an integral part in the health system but remaining largely funded by charity. On average, two thirds of adult hospice income and four fifths of children’s hospice income is raised through fundraising. But with the cost of living crisis meaning local communities may not be able to give so generously, rising costs pose an existential threat to the sustainability of the sector.

With rising costs and a tough fundraising environment, hospices are struggling to plan for the future of their services, especially in the face of increased demand and complexity of care. They are also seeing staff costs climb considerably, as they plan to meet these challenges and ensure they are able to recruit and retain brilliant, compassionate hospice staff and pay them a fair wage.

Hospices Cymru, supported by Hospice UK, asked Welsh Government for £4m to urgently meet rising staff costs so they are paid a fair and competitive wage that keeps pace with pay increases given to equivalent roles in the NHS. The £4m announced from Welsh Government will help hospices meet rising staff costs and continue to pay their dedicated staff a fair wage.

Matthew Brindley, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Wales at Hospice UK says: "This funding from Welsh Government is incredible recognition and support for Welsh hospices as valued and equal partners with the NHS. It will help ensure they can continue providing essential care to 20,000 people affected by terminal illnesses each year, taking pressure off the NHS. 

“However, as with hospices across the UK, Welsh hospices still face funding pressures as costs rise and demand for their care increases, and we will continue to work with Welsh Government to ensure Welsh hospices can meet the rising demand anticipated in coming years. 

“This support from Welsh Government is encouraging, and we urge governments across the UK to take their lead and recognise the critical role hospices play alongside our NHS colleagues, delivering high-quality care, taking pressure of the wider system, and supporting dying people to get the care they need, when they need it."