A Welsh Conservative debate in the Senedd has called on the Welsh Government to take action to help radically improve access to hospice and palliative care for everyone across Wales.
Speaking in the debate, Montgomeryshire Assembly Member, Russell George, paid tribute to the Llanidloes Palliative Care Suite which was officially opened in May 2018 and was fully funded by the Llanidloes League of Friends and the local community.
Mr George urged the Welsh Government to help change this by encouraging effective collaboration between the NHS and charitable sector and also called for hospices and palliative care centres in Wales to receive more statutory support from Welsh Government to allow them to continue to provide the level of services and support they currently deliver to those coming towards the end of their lives.
Speaking in the Welsh Parliament, Mr George said:
"The Welsh Government needs to ensure that the true value of the services which hospices provide to people needing end-of-life care, their families and communities is recognised by using its forthcoming draft budget to increase its support for hospices across Wales so that we become a compassionate country.
"The launch of the Palliative Care Suite in Llaindloes has been invaluable in providing care in this improved setting for people nearing the end of their lives in this community, allowing people to access care and support outside of a hospital setting and emphasising the importance of providing person-centred care and choice to help empower the individual.
"However, no funding was provided by the Welsh Government to support the establishment of Llanidloes Palliative Care Suite and this situation is replicated across the country.
"Given the current pressures in Wales on the NHS and number of available hospital beds, hospices provide an opportunity to allow people to access the support they need outside of a hospital environment and according to their own preference.
"Therefore, I believe that Local Health Boards should develop close working relationships with hospice providers to allow people to access an holistic package of care and we need to see more leadership from the Welsh Government to deliver a more proactive approach to help hospices and palliative care suites meet future funding and operational challenges.
“I was pleased to pay tribute to the Llanidloes League of Friends and the local community for all their effort and work.”