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Luen’s blog: A new start for integrated care

On July 1st the NHS introduced a new structure whereby integrated care boards set the direction for the delivery of local health and care services. Integrated care boards are not just comprised of NHS trusts and services, but include social care services and the voluntary sector too.

In this move, there is a clear recognition that the NHS alone cannot deliver all the services that people need. That there is a vast amount of expertise and resource which sits alongside the NHS and that through working together in an integrated way, we can all do more for more people.

This is an exciting time for Forget Me Not, because we are viewed as an equal partner within this new system, a partner whose services are respected and valued. 

Hospices like ours are really good at helping people in a holistic way, recognising that life-shortening conditions don’t exist in silos and can affect the rest of the family, not just the child. 

But financially, we remain the Cinderella at the party. Our services are still primarily funded through the sales of bric-a-brac in our shops, events like our magnificent Colour Run and collections of people’s spare change. While the government has recognised the amazing contribution hospices have made during the pandemic, there is still no long term resolution around sustainable funding. Hospices can’t manage on thin air and with the cost of living crisis, just standing still is costing us far more, at a time when demand for our services is growing.

That’s why we will continue to call upon the government and NHS commit to sustainable funding for hospices and why we continue to rely on you – our local community – to help us raise the vital funds we need to continue to be here for the children and families who need us the most. Thank you.