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Pledges will help improve lives cut short

Parents and carers of children with life-shortening conditions will appeal to the government for better service provision today.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil will hear directly from families at a "square table" event held by the charities, Together for Short Lives and Children's Hospice Association Scotland, at Edinburgh's Assembly rooms.

Organisers say key decision-makers and professionals will be asked to pledge to improve service provision, provide better funding for children's hospices and improve communication between agencies, which campaigners say would enable families to spend more time together.

The event coincides with the roll-out of A Framework for the Delivery of Palliative Care for Children and Young People in Scotland, which has been developed by paediatricians as part of the Scottish Government's Children and Young People's Palliative Care Executive Group.

Mr Neil said: "I am very pleased to hear at first-hand the views of parents and professionals on the palliative care needs of our children and young people. These views outline how healthcare staff can work with children, young people and their families to provide dignity and comfort in difficult times."

Barbara Gelb, Together for Short Lives CEO, said, "This unique approach to listening is a tried-and-tested model for gaining real insight into what matters most to children and families. The pledges that will be made could make all the difference in enabling children and families to make the most of precious lives."

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