The prime minister has backed Sir Oliver Heald's efforts to secure greater government support for the parents of children with cancer.

Two of Sir Oliver's constituents in North East Hertfordshire, Ceri and Frances Menai-Davis, founded a charity called It's Never You after their son, Hugh, tragically died from a rare cancer in 2021, aged just six.

They founded the charity to provide support for parents in a similar situation, and Sir Oliver is putting forward a private members' bill - known as Hugh's Law - that will ask the government to report on what financial support can be given to parents who find themselves in hospital to care for a sick child.

At prime minister's questions on Wednesday, December 13, Sir Oliver said that he hoped "the prime minister might ask ministers to discuss that with me so that we can find a way forward to help parents in that dreadful situation".

The Comet: Ceri and Frances Menai-Davis.Ceri and Frances Menai-Davis. (Image: PA)

In response, Mr Sunak expressed his sympathies for Ceri and Frances Menai-Davis, and commended them for setting up their charity.

He continued: "I will ensure that [Sir Oliver] and the organisers get the appropriate meeting with the minister to discuss its important work.


"He is absolutely right that parents who are in that situation should have all the support they need, and we will make sure that that happens."

According to treasury estimates, approximately 4,000 children each year require hospital stays exceeding two months, placing a significant strain on their families.

When parents have to become caregivers, there is often a significant reduction in household income alongside additional expenses related to the care required for the child.

Frances Menai-Davis said: “Not having to worry about finances would be life changing for those families affected and allow them to focus on caring for their sick child."

Ceri Menai-Davis added: "Looking after a sick child is one of the worst things as a parent that you can do.

"Speaking to parents in the hospital during Hugh's treatment and after, it's clear that a huge amount of anxiety and hardship can be removed by offering parents more help financially.

The Comet: Sir Oliver Heald is the MP for North East Hertfordshire.Sir Oliver Heald is the MP for North East Hertfordshire. (Image: Nikki Powell)

"Currently, there is nothing offered by the government that helps a parent in a situation like ours and like many others around the UK."

Speaking after prime minister's questions, Sir Oliver said: “I was delighted that the prime minister recognised that Ceri and Frances are doing a good job with their charity It’s Never You and that ministers will meet them.

"We also have a date, January 19, for the [second reading] debate of our bill to ask government for financial help for parents having to look after a sick child for months in hospital.

"If it is supported this would be an important first step in changing the law.“