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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 12:55 GMT
Hospice calls for increased funds
Naomi House

A hospice providing long-term care for terminally ill children and their families has called for more funding ahead of a government care review.

Naomi House in Winchester is celebrating its 10th anniversary and offers free respite care for children in southern England.

It needs 3.5m annually but receives 300,000 a year from the government.

A review of palliative care, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health, is due out in February.

Naomi House has 190 parents currently using its facilities for children who have life-limiting illnesses and disabilities, and not expected to live into adulthood.

It costs around 7,000 a day to provide care
Ray Kipling

A spokeswoman for Naomi House described it as a beacon for families in the area.

"The families that we serve wouldn't get the same care elsewhere - if they couldn't come to Naomi House they'd have nowhere else," she added.

Beacons are being lit across the region at the weekend to celebrate ten years of the centre which was set up by the Wessex Children's Hospice Trust.

Naomi House says it can stay open thanks to donations and its charity shops.

Ray Kipling, chief executive of Naomi House, said: "Only around 10% of our income comes from government, so we rely on the generosity of people in the community to continue our work.

"It costs around 7,000 a day to provide care and support to families and whilst we wouldn't like to lose our independence, we would welcome more, regular, government funding for some of our core services, such as paying for medicine."

'General funding'

The independent review is looking into the long-term sustainability of children's palliative care, and how centres like Naomi House operate with primary care trusts and local authorities.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health told BBC news: "Last May, the department announced additional funding of 27m for children's hospice services.

"The Secretary of State has announced a review... and will report in February.

"We provide general funding in support of children's palliative care services via primary care trusts (PCTs) who are responsible for delivering services locally.

"We have actively encouraged the process of children's hospices engaging with PCTs and will continue to do so."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
One mother and child use Naomi House



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