More than one in four hospices now reporting deficits

NHS funding for palliative care services at hospices is declining and 28 per cent of independent charitable hospices are now recording deficits, according to a survey by charity Help The Hospices.

The figures are based on analysis of the accounts of 186 of the UK's 194 independent charitable hospices between 2004 and 2006.

David Praill, chief executive of Help The Hospices, said: 'We are asking the government to deliver Labour's election manifesto commitment to doubling the amount given for palliative care as a matter of urgency.'

Most hospices are charities providing a wide range of services free of charge to people with incurable illnesses and their families.

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