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I am a parent of a child with a terminal diagnosis. My daughter was diagnosed nearly six years ago, and since this time we have been using Shooting Star Chase Hospice in Guildford, Surrey. Over recent years, austerity measures have caused the hospice to cut vital services to many vulnerable children and their families.
The Covid-19 virus pandemic has caused further funding issues for the hospice, now under threat of closure.
When my daughter became acutely unwell in December last year, the Symptom Management Team was on call day and night to provide us with support when we needed it. If it wasn't for them, the task of caring for my daughter would have been unmanageable for us as parents.
I have no words to describe how upset we are that we may lose this invaluable service, and I am sure many families would be feeling the same, especially when our children are so vulnerable to this new virus. To put it frankly, if my daughter was to contract this virus we would not have the option of a service like Shooting Star Chase to help us through the end of my daughter's life.
We need the government to urgently review the funding needed to keep this and all children's hospices open. They must be fully funded now and beyond. The austerity measures that have crippled children's hospices must stop with immediate affect. We need their support as a family through what has been an incredibly difficult journey.
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Article dated 1 April 2020
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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