SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has called on Health Minister Robin Swann to intervene on funding for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
The hospice has announced it will reduce bed capacity due to a loss of government funding.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“The loss of funding that has led to the removal of a bed at the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice underlines the significant challenges that face our health service in terms of both resources and the care provided. While it is only one bed being removed as a result of financial pressure, the resulting changes will have a significant impact on children and families going through the worst situation imaginable.
“The Children’s Hospice does incredible work, providing comfort and support in the most difficult of circumstances, their staff go above and beyond and provide a service that is priceless for the impact it has. I understand the financial situation facing our health service and the competing demands for funding, but I don’t believe we can leave this hospice without the money it needs to continue its current level of care.
“Our new Health Minister faces an incredible body of work as he takes up the role once again, but I would urge Robin Swann to engage with the Children’s Hospice and do what’s necessary to restore this funding. Thinking about children coming to the end of their life is deeply upsetting for anyone and I can’t begin to think about what that experience is like for those children and their families. We have a duty to do everything we can to ensure that they get the best care possible in a environment that meets their needs.”