I understand that hospices are concerned about rising energy bills due to the increase of the cost of living and note the issues raised by Hospice UK. I can assure you that the Government is taking action to support hospices to ensure that they can continue to provide care to patients.
Hospices benefit from the Government's Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS), which reduces how much they need to spend on their energy and gives them certainty over their budgets. In April 2023, the EBRS will be replaced by the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) which will run until March 2024. The EBDS will support hospices by providing a discount on gas and electricity unit prices.
Hospices will receive a per-unit discount to their energy bills during the 12-month period from April 2023 to March 2024, subject to a maximum discount. The discount will be applied if wholesale prices are above a certain price threshold. For most non-domestic energy users in the UK these maximum discounts have been set at £19.61 per megawatt hour (MWh) with a price threshold of £302 per MWh for electricity, and at £6.97 per MWh with a price threshold of £107 per MWh for gas.
In addition to the Government’s support for energy bills, NHS England is supporting palliative and end of life care across the country. For example, palliative and end of life care for children and young people is being supported through the Children and Young People’s hospice grant, providing £21 million in 2022/23, rising to £25 million in 2023/24.
Finally, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, up to £5 million in 2022/23 of match funding has been made available to commissioners who increase their overall level of investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services, rising to up to £7 million in 2023/24.