THE Chief Executive of a Gwent hospice has said she is thrilled £6.4 million of palliative care funding from the Welsh Government will continue for another year.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced today [Monday, August 18] a multimillion pound funding package will be given to support hospices and specialist end-of-life care across Wales.

Hospices in Gwent will receive £688,695 towards their care with Aneurin Bevan Health Board also receiving £133,500 towards palliative care.

St David’s Hospice Care, St Anne’s Hospice and the Hospice of the Valleys will receive government funding for 2014-15, ensuring specialist consultant, nurse and other health support.

Palliative care focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients, particularly those nearing the end of their life.

Last year the Welsh Government published its Delivering End of Life Care Plan which aims to reduce inequalities in end-of-life care and maintain an individual’s dignity in their last days.

Professor Drakeford said: “Whether a person wishes to die in hospital, in a hospice or at home, we are providing funding to make sure the right level of professional, caring support is available.

“Where death can be expected, we must be prepared to have honest and open conversations about the end of life - it should not be a taboo subject.

“Preparing and planning for the end of life with the involvement of family, carers and professionals is essential to the delivery of high-quality care.”

CEO of St David’s Hospice Care, Emma Saysell, said: “We are really thrilled and pleased the health minister has supported hospices in Wales for another year.

“We are under tight financial constraints so we are grateful for and appreciate the help we’ve been given. It’s a contribution to the huge amount of care in the community that we provide.”

St David’s Hospice Care, which has a £7.5 million turnover, sources 25 per cent of their funding from the NHS and will receive £304,891.