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Wednesday, 6 February, 2002, 16:41 GMT
Minister backs children's hospice
Child and nurse generic
There is only one children's hospice in Wales
Plans for a children's hospice in north Wales are a step nearer after the Welsh Health Minister promised to review funds for the site.

Currently, terminally-ill youngsters from the region can be cared for by Hope House Children's Hospice in Shropshire.


We need 2m to build the hospice and we're looking for it to be open by June 2003

Sarah Jones, Hope House

But the organisation want to develop a 2m satellite unit in north east Wales.

Welsh Assembly Health Minister Jane Hutt has entered into talks with the hospice.

"I was pleased to discuss with Hope House hospice their plans for a children's hospice in north Wales," she said.

The Minister added: "I am looking to see if we can support them with a one-off payment."

Children's Hospice

At present, Wales' only children's hospice is in the Vale of Glamorgan but families from Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire can receive help from the Oswestry centre.

Sarah Jones from Hope House said the new unit would make a big difference to families in north Wales.

"The capital appeal launched in October so we're in the initial fundraising stages," she said.

The appeal organiser added: "We need 2m to build the hospice and we're looking for it to be open by June 2003."

Campaigners want to build the new children's unit in a central location along the A55 between Llandudno and Abergele.

Ann Jones, AM
Ann Jones has welcomed the project

Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones has welcomed the minister's backing: "Whilst the level of hospice provision for all people in Wales is a matter of concern.

"The most serious shortfall lies in the provision for terminally ill children," she said.

Support for palliative care services has been a matter for local health authorities but Ms Jones has welcomed the change.

"I am pleased to see that we are now pursuing a more joined up national strategy to tackle this issue," she said.

Hospice workers must now wait for Ms Hutt to reach a decision regarding the one-off payment.

See also:

25 Jan 00 | Wales
07 Sep 99 | Wales
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