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Government publishes progress report on end of life care

Author: Suzanne Stevenson
22 September 2017

This week the Government published a one year progress report on its national commitment on end of life care.

The report - One Year On: The Government Response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care - sets out work undertaken since the publication of its national commitment on end of life care, last year to ensure everyone is able to receive high quality care that reflects their individual needs, choices and preferences.

Commenting in response, Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of the national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, said:

“While significant progress has been made in some areas on improving access and provision of palliative and end of life care services, the pace of delivery needs to step up across the health and care system if everyone is to be able to access good quality, timely care at the end of life.   

“In addition, there is an urgent need for more investment in community-based hospice and palliative care services. Community-based services ensure people and their families are supported together and can also prevent costly and distressing admissions to hospital. The need for such services will increase as we live longer and die with increasing complex needs.

“We acknowledge the commitment shown by Government and the wider care system to improve access and provision of palliative and end of life care, but this needs to be backed up by the resources to deliver a lasting difference to care for adults and children with terminal and life-limiting conditions, and their families.”

Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public  Affairs England at Marie Curie, added:

“We welcome the Government’s focus on end of life care, particularly on ensuring that people’s choices about where they are cared for are recognised and properly recorded. However, in the two years since the publication of the Independent Review on the Choice of Life, there has been a disappointing lack of progress on preparing for the increased demand in palliative and end of life care services that our ageing population will surely require.

“With the amount of nurses applying to work in the UK from the EU dwindling, and fewer Brits opting to undertake nursing training, the Government needs a sharp focus on preparing the NHS to tackle increasing demand for palliative care services in a world in which there are fewer resources and fewer people undertaking caring roles. We are deeply concerned that the Government and NHS England are not currently demonstrating when or even how they will tackle this problem. ”

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