THE pressures of caring for severely disabled and terminally ill children were aired in the House of Commons by MP Annette Brooke, pictured below.

With children’s hospice Julia's House in her Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency, the MP asked David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions to give higher priority to the funding of short breaks as an invest-to-save measure.

She pointed out that short breaks were an important part of providing palliative care and supporting the children and their families.

And she mentioned research being carried out by Julia's House and Bournemouth University into the impact of short breaks on family relationships, which is due to be published in the autumn.

It is thought the pressures of caring for a sick child was a significant factor contributing to the break-up of relationships.

The Prime Minster, whose disabled son Ivan died in 2009 at the age of six, said he totally agreed.

“Any family bringing up a severely disabled child knows that finding one of these hospices, I will never forget finding Helen House in Oxford, which was actually the first children’s hospice, I think, anywhere in the country, is a complete life saver as they carry out brilliant, brilliant work,” he said.

“That is why we have committed over £800million for local authorities to invest in short breaks for disabled children, and I am sure that this research by Bournemouth University will help inform our work in the future.”

Annette said: “I welcome the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and I am pleased to hear about the funding already in place for short breaks.

“I will continue to support the hard work of hospices like Julia’s House; the incredible help and assistance they provide families in the most difficult of situations should never be underestimated and we must do all we can to ensure that the excellent care they provide can continue.”