Katharine House visits Number 10

The Katharine House Hospice team outside Number 10
The Katharine House Hospice team outside Number 10

Staff and volunteers from Katharine House Hospice (KHH) attended a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds.

The Monday afternoon visit 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, a major challenge for Katharine House.

PM Boris Johnson and Nikki Tout

PM Boris Johnson and Nikki Tout

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

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.

She added: “The current hospice funding model is unsustainable and urgently needs to be reviewed t 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.”

The KHH team sat down with the Prime Minister for 20 minutes, bringing his attention to the growing disparity between different hospices’ government funding, which can range from 20 per cent to 70 per cent.

The Prime Minister shared how “grateful he was for the difficult but vital and caring work that hospices do”.

Ms Symonds added that it was “such a privilege to meet so many inspiring people who do such incredible work”.

The hospice faces a shortfall of £400,000 and hopes that by making the PM aware of this and the growing need for hospice services, something will be done to help.