A CHILDREN’S hospice has called on clinical commissioning groups to help it access new government funding.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, which runs Grace’s Place in Radcliffe, has appealed for additional financial support.

It follows NHS England’s recent announcement that national funding for children’s hospices is to rise by as much as £25million a year.

NHS England’s hospital grant programme currently provides £11million each year to enable children’s hospices to care for and support those with life-limiting conditions and their families.

At the end of December, health officials said they would make up to an additional £7million available by 2023/24 if NHS commissioning groups agree to match it.

Luen Thompson, Forget Me Not’s chief executive, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “This is hugely positive news. This additional funding will enable us to help more children and families which in turn reduces the pressure on the NHS and gives families vital support at the most difficult time of their lives.

“Without a partnership approach to this work, Grace’s Place will still be solely reliant on fundraising from the public."

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice needs to raise about £500,000 each year to supports children and their families across Bury, Oldham and Rochdale from its base in Radcliffe.

Ms Thompson continued: “By supporting us, CCGs will help ensure children’s palliative care services — including those provided by the NHS in a hospital setting and those provided by us in the community — are available to all who need them, when they need them.

“I’d like to invite CCGs from across north Manchester to help us make sure that children and families get the support they need now and in the future.”

Bury CCG said they are in ongoing discussions with Grace's Place.

Margaret O'Dwyer, Director of Commissioning & Business Delivery/Deputy Chief Officer for Bury CCG, said: “The CCG recognises the vital specialised services provided by Grace’s Place to children and families in the north of Greater Manchester.

"The CCG has an ongoing conversation with Grace’s Place in relation to the range of services it may deliver in the future, and the funding that might be attached to this."