Two charities’ campaigns for 24 hour palliative care have received pledges of support from the Bexhill and Battle MP.
Huw Merriman will be championing calls from charities Together for Short Lives and Marie Curie for people with terminal illnesses to have access to medical support whenever they need it.
Mr Merriman has pledged to help ensure that any constituents who have a terminal illness know what services and benefits they are entitled to and to work with NHS services to improve access to and quality of palliative care for those who need it,” Mr Merriman said.
“I know that good palliative care is vital to those with a terminal illness and their loved ones.
“We have really good hospice services in Bexhill and Battle but it’s important that local people have access to the right care end of life care when they need it which is why I’m supporting Marie Curie’s campaign.”
Marie Curie revealed more than half of over-50s in the UK – of whom there are 26 million - are not confident they will get the care they need towards the end of their life.
One in four people each year who need palliative care miss out on it because their needs are not recognised and they are not referred on to the right services.
Mr Merriman teamed up with Marie Curie nurse Sally Monger-Godfrey and impressionist Jon Culshaw to back the campaign.
Culshaw, a supporter of Marie Curie, said: “Like most of us, I believe that everyone should have the right to palliative care when they need it.
“That’s why I’m supporting Marie Curie’s campaign to make this a reality.”
Head of policy and public affairs for England at Marie Curie Scott Sinclair said the charity is incredibly grateful to Huw Merriman for supporting Marie Curie’s campaign and more needs to be done to ensure terminally-ill people get access to the high quality care and support they need and deserve.
“Making this a reality also requires support at a national level,” he said.
“The government can play its part by investing in palliative and end of life care services to help transform the way care is provided locally to people with a terminal illness now and in the future.”
Together for Short Lives says many children are unable to access the 24/7 palliative care they need because it is not commissioned in their area or because there are not enough professionals with the skills, knowledge or experience needed to provide it.
Mr Merriman attended a Westminster reception event hosted by the UK’s leading children’s palliative care charity on Tuesday, November 17.
“I really valued having the chance to meet families and professionals who care for seriously ill children,” he said.
“I am a huge supporter of my local children’s palliative care service, Chestnut Tree House, and the vital support it gives children with life-limiting conditions.
“I am committed to ensuring children and families can access 24/7 support including community children’s nursing, hospice and home and specialised services.
“I am keen to work with our local CCGs to make this happen.”
Find out more about the charity’s work at www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk or join the conversation using #carearoundtheclock.
If you or someone you are close to has a terminal illness, you can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or visit mariecurie.org.uk/help.
You can also share experiences and talk to people in a similar situation on the Marie Curie community.
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