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Demand for children's palliative care expected to rise

Posted on 26 June 2023

Researchers from the University of York have found that the number of children with life-limiting conditions rose by almost a quarter over 10 years in Wales.

Image supplied by Tŷ Hafan Children's Hospice

According to the report, launched by children's hospices Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith in Wales, one in 172 under 18-year-olds have a life-limiting condition, with more than 50% of all deaths of children in Wales between 2009 and 2019 among children with these conditions.

Substantial increases

Report author, Dr Stuart Jarvis, Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, said: "The report shows that there have been substantial increases in the number of children and young people in Wales with life-limiting conditions since 2009, with no reduction in medical complexity. 

“This means that more resources are needed to simply continue to offer the same level of care to these children throughout Wales, let alone provide much-needed additional support."

Ground-breaking report

Maria Timon Samra, Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan Children‘s Hospice, said: “We are very proud of this ground-breaking report, the first ever to look specifically at children with life-limiting conditions in Wales.

“More than ever this reinforces the need for a sustainable long-term funding solution from the Welsh Government.”

Complex conditions

Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive of Hope House Tŷ Gobaith, said: “The report shows that the type of services we provide will need to adapt to keep up with the increasingly complex conditions that children are now living with.”

Eluned Morgan, Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “This is a really important report, providing Wales specific data. I look forward to continuing to work with hospices, families and the NHS to ensure children with life-limiting conditions and their families have access to the services and support they need.”

The report was undertaken by a team from the University of York, led by Professor Lorna Fraser and funded by the Welsh Government through the National Programme Board for Palliative and End of Life Care.

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About this research

Researchers found that the number of children with life-limiting conditions rose by almost a quarter over 10 years in Wales.

The report can be accessed on

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