Hospices could be forced into cutbacks in the wake of a shortfall in government cash.
According to a report by the National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services, hospices have received only £4 million of the £50 million promised by the Government in its NHS Cancer Plan.
With little more government spending expected soon, the financial burden is expected to fall heavily on charities.
The National Council says the NHS currently meets just 28 per cent of the costs of voluntary hospices and the £50 million would have struck a more even distribution with the not-for-profit sector.
But the decision to divert the bulk of that money into other areas has created a hole that charities are finding difficult to fill.
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to establish a system to ensure that more funding reaches hospices.