Valerie and Black country MPs meet with Acorns Chief Executive and bereaved parent

On Tuesday 18 June 2019, at a meeting with other Black Country MPs, I spoke with Mark Lyttle whose daughter, Isabella, passed away at the hospice earlier this year. I also met with Acorns Chief Executive to discuss ways to prevent the proposed closure of Walsall Children’s Hospice.

I spoke with Mark Lyttle, a bereaved parent, about his daughter Isabella. It was heart-breaking to hear Mark tell Isabella’s story. Isabella and her family were cared for by Acorns for several years, which extended and improved her quality of life. Isabella passed away earlier this year at the age of 11.

The Acorns hospice in Walsall currently employs almost 70 people to support 233 Black Country children and their families. Acorns’ other hospices, in Worcester and Birmingham, are too far for many of the families to travel to.

I have signed a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the head of NHS England to request a meeting on protecting funding for Acorns. I have also signed the petition against the closure which to date has almost 30,000 signatures.

The charity needs reliable funding from the NHS each year in order to keep its three hospices open. This vital service needs to be underpinned by NHS funding. It cannot be right that we have to rely on donations to keep hospices open. The Government needs to assure Acorns that funding will be delivered.

Children at the end of their lives need the care that Acorns provide. I will continue to call on the Government and NHS England to guarantee the funding needed to keep the Walsall hospice open. Hospices should not have to turn away sick children and worried parents.

You can sign the petition here.