Last week the Government issued its response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care. Robin Walker, Worcester’s MP, has campaigned rigorously for this as part of his longstanding commitment to improving children’s palliative care and his support for Acorn’s Hospice in Worcester. The Government response makes a strong pledge to ensure high quality end of life care.

Robin is a longstanding supporter of the Hospice movement and the End of Life Care Coalition who recently wrote to thank him for his work in getting a Government response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care. He has supported the Hospice movement relentlessly in Parliament with one of his first questions to the Prime Minister in 2010 focusing on the £40 million grant given to hospices of which £600,000 went to Worcester’s own St Richards Hospice.

Robin has focused especially on Children’s Palliative care and the work Acorn’s Hospice provides in his constituency. In a debate last month over support for children and young people with life-shortening conditions, he concentrated on the support for young people transitioning into adulthood and ensuring they have the best quality of life in the time they have. This is an area on which Acorn’s has done pioneering work.

Together for Short Lives recently published new maps on children’s end of life care commissioning. The South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group was given 3 stars out of 5 for the provisions they give for children’s palliative care. Hereford CCG and the Wyre Forest CCG received similar ratings. However Gloucestershire CCG received 4 out of 5 stars. Robin wants to see children’s palliative care in Worcester to at least match the care provided in Gloucestershire and preferably be amongst the best performing areas in the country.

The Worcestershire Local Authority is currently rated average compared to the rest of the nation in regards to palliative care, however it lags behind the CCG rating at 2 stars.

Robin will be writing to the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and The Worcestershire County Council to draw their attention to this new research and to improve support for Hospices in the constituency.

Commenting on this, Robin said:

“Having pressed the government over a number of years for better support for hospices, I am pleased to see this long-awaited response to the Choice review. Our hospices provide incredible support to care for people at the end of life and to children with life-limiting conditions. In Worcester we are extremely lucky to have both St Richard’s Hospice where my late father spent his last days and the incredible children’s Acorns Hospice. I am glad that we are amongst the better areas in the country according to the research from Together for Short Lives, but I will be writing to local commissioners to challenge them to do more. We must take advantage of the Governments response to the Choice review to ensure our Hospices get the best support for the care they provide.

Commenting on the Government response, the End of Life Care Coalition wrote:

“We think that the response, which includes the powerful national commitment for end of life care to be high quality, personalised and built around patient needs, is a strong foundation for us to build on and work with the Government, local and national health bodies to improve end of life care for dying people and their families”.

Notes to Editors

For more information on the Government’s Response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care see:

For more information on Children’s end of life care Commissioning & the research refered to see:

For Robin’s previous speeches in Parliament in support of local Hospices:

For more information on Robin’s first question to the Prime Minister on the issue of Hospice provision see: