Families living with terminal illness today received a morale boost with the announcement that an important new pilot scheme has been given the go ahead.

The new scheme, announced by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, will provide funding to allow more people to be able to spend their final days in a place of their choice.

Lansley acknowledged that the current system of end of life care does not work well enough as some patients and their families receive excellent care and excellent support while others miss out.

The government scheme awards seven new adult pilot sites an extra £200,000 and a children and young persons pilot will receive £400,000.

Commenting on today's announcement of the sites for the Palliative Care Funding Pilots, Together for Short Lives Chief Executive Barbara Gelb said: "Today's announcement of a crucial pilot to focus on children's palliative care involving a consortium of four areas of England is a welcome step on the road to establishing the right system of funding. Getting the system right will mean providers of children's palliative care are funded in a fairer way for the services they provide and most importantly that children and families receive the support on which they depend."

"As the voice for children's palliative care across the UK, Together for Short Lives will be working with the Department of Health, the consortium of pilot areas and the wider sector to help establish clear definitions and the appropriate data collection, to inform any future funding tariff".

Together for Short Lives is the new name for ACT & Children's Hospices UK. It is the voice for the 23,500 children and young people unlikely to reach adulthood and their families - as well as the organisations and people that support them.

Posted by Penny Hosie