Loss of funding for NI Children’s Hospice heartbreaking and service shortfall must be urgently addressed, says McAllister

Alliance North Belfast MLA Nuala McAllister has expressed deep concern at reports that the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice is to be forced to reduce its bed capacity due to a loss of government funding.

North Belfast Nuala McAllister

Ms McAllister has submitted an urgent question for the Health Minister to clarify what steps he is taking to ensure the Children's Hospice can offer its service, in full, to all the families that require its services.


The hospice provides specialist palliative care for more than 350 children and their families each year. The funding cut will see the '7 Beds, 7 Nights' model be reduced to running six beds Monday to Friday, and three beds Saturday and Sunday.


Ms McAllister has said: “That the NI Children’s Hospice is having to reduce its bed capacity, just to ensure the ongoing sustainability of its service, because of a loss of funding from the government is heartbreaking.


It is the only place in Northern Ireland where families who are experiencing the unimaginable hardship of a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness can receive respite care, bereavement support, and end-of-life care in one setting. It is a vital service, and should not have to rely on the generosity of the local community.


This is yet another example, in an unfortunately long list of examples, of why we need the UK Government to deliver a stable and sustainable financial settlement for Northern Ireland.


I would call on the Health Minister to swiftly review departmental finances in order to source funding and ensure that this crucial service can continue running at full capacity, and I have submitted an urgent question to Mr Swann regarding the next steps on this matter.”