A DECISION on whether to close a children's hospice forcing families across the West Midlands to get treatment in Worcester has been postponed for four months.

Acorns, which has a hospice in Worcester, announced it would be "reluctantly" closing its Walsall hospice due to the increasing cost of providing care, a fall in donations, a downturn in its High Street charity shops and uncertainty over the future of NHS funding.

The decision has now been made by bosses to postpone the closure for four months to give the charity time to launch a £2 million fundraising appeal.

Around 80 families would be moved to Worcester if the Walsall hospice closed, the charity said.

Following the cash injection, the hospice, which looked after around 200 children in the last year, would be able to stay open until at least March 2020.

Toby Porter, chief executive of Acorns, said: “We are deeply grateful for the new pledges of NHS support nationally and locally, and for the recognition they convey of the importance of Acorns children’s hospice care to local children and families.

“These pledges have created a lifeline for our vital services in the Black Country. We will now do all we can to raise the final funds we need to secure the hospice’s longer-term future by appealing to the local community for their support.”

The cash-strapped charity was also handed a boost by NHS England who announced it would be ring-fencing £25 million to support children's hospices by 2024.

The children's charity is now set to launch an urgent fundraising appeal with the hope of raising £2 million for the Walsall hospice to remain open for the next four years, until the five-year NHS pledge is reached.

It is hoped raising the money would mean the hospice would not have to close at all.