LETTER: Investing in palliative care

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Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell voted against the proposed Assisted Dying Bill last week. Many of those who spoke in Parliament against the Bill, plenty of whom were Conservative party MPs, mentioned how we should offer improved palliative care instead of assisted dying, although of course the two are not mutually exclusive.

According to the website of our local hospice, St Wilfrid’s, the area served by them which includes Eastbourne covers 230,000 people.

At present they care for more than 1,000 people each year, a fantastic achievement given the disgraceful fact that they have to rely on donations to cover around 85 per cent of the running costs.

St Wilfrid’s also states that there are an estimated 3,000 people a year locally needing support as they near the end of their life, although this demand will only grow.

Given the current level of government cuts to front line services, which particularly affect the most vulnerable in society, can Caroline inform the population of Eastbourne how her government will be ensuring that resources will be poured in to palliative care in Eastbourne so that every single person is guaranteed that, should they need it, palliative care services will be available.

Given the fact that Caroline was so keen to prevent individuals from having a choice over the end of their lives, and that the reality is deaths are occurring as we speak, I think a proposed time scale of any investment would be most welcome. The Herald would be a great medium for our MP to inform her electorate.

Steve Parlanti

Maxfield Close

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