HEALTH MINISTER AND LOCAL MP VISIT ST ANN'S HOSPICE

July 9, 2010 12:36 PM
Local MP Mark Hunter at St Ann's with Care Services Minister Paul Burstow and new Chief Executive Jayne Bessant

Local MP Mark Hunter at St Ann's with Care Services Minister Paul Burstow and new Chief Executive Jayne Bessant

Yesterday, Thursday 9th July, Care Services Minister and Lib Dem colleague Paul Burstow joined Cheadle MP Mark Hunter on a special visit to St Ann's Hospice in Heald Green.

On the day that a top level announcement was made about a review into care funding, the Minister was introduced to the new Chief Executive, Jayne Bessant, and toured the outstanding facilities of the well known, reputable Hospice.

Mr Burstow and Mr Hunter toured the facilities to view the exceptional work that is carried out at St Ann's, and met with individuals and families to discuss the importance of these facilities. The Minister had previously heard from local MP Mark Hunter about the excellent work at St Ann's and was encouraged to make it his first official visit to a Hospice as a Minister.

The review announced yesterday, which will be chaired by Tom Hughes-Hallett, Chief Executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, will look at how Government can make sure that the money intended to help look after people who are approaching the end of life is spent in the right way. It will also make recommendations for a funding system that will cover care

provided by the NHS, a hospice or any appropriate provider:

• which encourages more community-based care, so a patient can remain in their own home; and

• that will be fair and transparent to all organisations involved in palliative care.

Commenting, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow MP said:

"Everyone who is seriously or terminally ill should be properly supported. I

have been to the St Ann's Hospice in Heald Green to see for myself the work

that is going on and to meet families that use the services.

"The Government is committed to more personalised care for people at

the end of life. Just last month we made this clear through confirming that

£40 million will be invested to help hospices improve the environments

where they provide care and support for patients, their families and carers.

"I am delighted that we are today taking the first step to honouring our

commitment to introducing a new per-patient funding system for all hospices

and providers of palliative care."

Commenting, Mark Hunter MP said:

"I was delighted to bring the Minister along to see for himself the wonderful work which St Ann's does. It has touched the lives of so many people - both locals and those from further afield.

"It was also a great way to welcome the new Chief Executive, Jayne Bessant, into her new role. Her predecessor, Terry McDonnell, was an extraordinary champion of St Ann's, and I am sure Jayne will rise to the challenges of maintaining the strong reputation held by the organisation.

"It is absolutely crucial that the Government do all that is possible to help Hospices and other care services. After taking the previous Chief Executive of St Anns to meet with then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the last Parliament, I am committed to helping every bit as much in the future."

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