This week, Westmorland MP Tim Farron and the MP for Twickenham, Munira Wilson, have written to the Secretary of State for Energy Security, Grant Shapps, to look into further support for hospice's energy bills.
It was announced that at the end of this month the Energy Bills Discount Scheme would provide energy cost support for businesses, the public sector, and charities until March 2024. However, due to the guidelines that the Conservative government have used to determine how much of a discount a business is eligible for, hospices have been left out in the cold. Under current guidelines, they would only receive the same amount of support as smaller - and less energy intensive - businesses like shops and pubs would.
The letter from Tim and Munira asks the Minister to look into either altering the guidelines or providing a separate stream of support for hospices. It comes after the Minister agreed to look into the issue when Tim questioned the guidelines in the House of Commons last week.
Hospice UK and Together for Short Lives have expressed significant concerns that if the Conservative Government does not step in to help, many hospices will not be able to provide their vital and life-changing care.
Speaking today, Tim said: "Hospices provide essential, and life altering care to the most vulnerable in our communities.
"There are so many of our loved ones and patients whose lives will be affected for the worse by the decisions hospices will be forced to make if the Government does not step in to support them.
"The fact that hospices have been left out in the cold in the Energy Bills Discount Scheme simply because the care that they provide is not 'trade intensive' is ridiculous.
"The work that they carry out is arguably some of the most important. We all want our loves ones to be taken care of and if the Minister does not make good on his promise to look into this issue, then many of our loves ones will receive worst care for it."