Today, in response to campaigning for the Hospice movement by Rory Stewart MP and other MPs the Chancellor has agreed to provide financial support for Hospices by refunding their VAT. ‎ Rory Stewart committed in his manifesto to ensuring that community and voluntary organisations are fully supported in Cumbrian health-care; and he has particular focus on the Cumbrian hospice movement, in engagement with Ministers and parliament.

Rory has attended numerous meetings with Cumbrian hospice charities, as well as bringing the former Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, to visit Eden Valley Hospice on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. He has supported Hospice at Home on a number of fundraising initiatives since his election in 2010, regularly giving talks and promoting the charity whenever possible. Cumbria is arguably the home of some of the most pioneering developments in national hospice care, with the Hospice at Home concept originating here in the county, whilst the Hospice movement was a British innovation started by Dame Cicely Saunders.

Speaking after today’s statement Rory said: “Cumbria’s very special relationship with the hospice movement is recognised today, and in the Autumn Statement we have delivered a tangible measure that will help our hospices to operate and to do their amazing work delivering palliative care not only to the patient, but care to the families whose loved ones are nearing the end of their lives.”

“Cumbria’s hospice tradition is legendary: in both Eden Valley Hospice and Hospice at Home we have two enormously impressive home-grown charities that provide the most crucial of support at what is the most difficult and challenging time in a person’s – and their family’s – life.”

“With over one third of constituents about to be over 65, and the number over 85 doubling, what we often need is not necessarily the technical expertise of the acute hospitals, but the preventative care led from community hospitals. This recognition in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is absolutely amazing news – reducing fiscal burden on the NHS whilst improving the dying days of a great many citizens – and I am thrilled to have been able to support our hospices over the past almost five years.”

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