LORD Faulkner of Worcester has praised the hard work of two hospices in the city and asked for reassurance about their future funding during a debate in Parliament.

The Labour peer praised the “wonderful work” of both St Richard’s Hospice in Wildwood Drive and Acorns Children’s Hospice in Bath Road, in a debate in the House of Lords.

He said: “I speak with first-hand experience of two hospices which I have got to know in the city of Worcester in the past year.

“They are Acorns Children’s and St Richard’s hospices. I found my visits to them both heart-warming and humbling.

“The most impressive feature of both, apart of course from the quality of the care that is provided at them – and this is true of other hospices all over the country – is the commitment of volunteers.

“Both hospices benefit greatly from the extraordinary generosity of local philanthropists and other members of the local community.

“One of the most remarkable people in Worcester is Cecil Duckworth, who is a freeman of the city and a massive donor to Acorns.

“The hospice’s building was largely down to him and his generosity, and to an 84-year-old lady who lives next door to the hospice and donated the land free of charge.”

Lord Faulkner praised Mr Duckworth especially for fund-raising events held at Sixways and the Mayor, Coun Mike Layland, who adopted Acorns as one of his chosen charities.

Lord Faulkner asked whether statutory funding would continue after forthcoming reforms of the NHS, including the replacement of primary care trusts with a new model of GP commissioning, arguing this was sometimes unsuitable where children in hospices are cared for by consultants rather than GPs.

Earl Howe, the minister who replied to the debate for the Government, said in response that he believed the strategy would mean “more funding stability”, including longer-term contracts for hospices.