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19 July 2019, 11:15 | Updated: 19 July 2019, 11:21
The decision to close Acorns Children's Hospice in the Black Country has been put on hold.
The decision will give the charity time to launch a major public fundraising appeal to raise the funds needed to save the hospice.
The lifeline comes following a commitment of significant new NHS funding from Black Country healthcare commissioners and an earlier announcement by NHS England that they would double their central funding support to the country’s children’s hospices over the next five years.
These announcements followed intensive campaigning by families of children cared for at hospice, including a visit to Westminster on June 18 by Mark Lyttle, the father of Isabella, who died at the end of April after a long battle with cancer. Mark met and addressed a large group of Black Country MPs, as well as the Director from NHS England responsible for children’s hospice funding.
This lifeline means the Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall can stay open to Black Country children and families until at least the end of March 2020.
Acorns Chief Executive, Toby Porter, said: “We are deeply grateful for the new pledges of NHS support nationally and locally, and for the recognition they convey of the importance of Acorns children’s hospice care to local children and families.
“These pledges have created a lifeline for our vital services in the Black Country. We will now do all we can to raise the final funds we need to secure the hospice’s longer-term future by appealing to the local community for their support.”
An urgent public fundraising appeal will be now be launched by Acorns to raise the final funds needed to save the Black Country Hospice in Walsall from closure altogether. If the appeal is successful, it will lead to the closure proposal being completely withdrawn.