Hospice staff thanked by Prime Minister at Downing Street reception


Following our visit to Downing Street to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Tuesday 20 August the government announced additional funding for hospices in England. You can read our response to the announcement here.

On Monday 12 August 2019 staff and volunteers from Katharine House Hospice attended a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds as one of only six hospices from across the country to attend.

The Prime Minister thanked the Katharine House team for their hard work, dedication and compassion, towards local families living with a life-limiting illness.

The afternoon also offered the chance to sit down with the Prime Minister and Ms Symonds on their first official joint public engagement to discuss the work the hospice does, and to raise the issue of hospice funding which remains a major challenge for Katharine House.

Ms Symonds commented that it was “such a privilege to meet so many inspiring people who do such incredible work.” The Prime Minister also shared how “grateful he was for the difficult but vital and caring work that hospices do”.

The team at Katharine House Hospice sat down with the Prime Minister for around 20 minutes, bringing his attention to the growing disparity between different hospice’s government funding, which can range from 20% to 70%.

Katharine House currently receives just a quarter of its funding from the government; a figure that has fallen as a percentage of the hospice’s cost in each of the last five years.

Angharad Orchard, Chief Executive of Katharine House, said:

“We are delighted that the work our team does for local people living with life-limiting illness has been recognised by the Prime Minister.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister and bring to his attention the serious funding challenges faced by Katharine House and other hospices across the country.

The current hospice funding model is unsustainable and urgently needs to be reviewed at a national level. We hope the Prime Minister will work to find solutions and we also look forward to continuing to work with our local MPs to address these funding issues so that we can ensure everyone in our community can access the end of life care they need.”