Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

A national framework for local action on end-of-life care By Prof Bee Wee

Great strides have been made to recognise palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare, but more needs to be done. Here, Prof Bee Wee sheds some light on a new framework to make a big difference to people’s final days.

The primary purpose of the NHS – and the primary motivation of all health and care professionals for joining the NHS family – is to save, prolong and improve lives. But however hard we work and however skilfully we perform our duties, and however advanced the prevention, identification, treatment and care options available to us become, every life comes to an end. It’s therefore crucial that meeting the distinct needs of people who are reaching the end of their lives is a priority across the health and social care system, and for the professionals who work within it.

We’ve made great strides in the past in recognising palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare in its own right. Improving the experience of patients and their loved ones has also, quite rightly, been a consistent focus of campaigners, clinical leaders and politicians, leading to important pieces of work such as the 2008 national strategy for end-of-life care, and the 2011 NICE quality standard for end-of-life care.

But nobody would argue that we’re there yet. While a recent Office for National Statistics report found that 75 per cent of bereaved people rate the overall quality of end-of-life care for their relative as good or better, we know that there is much more we need to do, and particularly as there remains significant variation and inequity in the way care is provided and experienced.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to download the document ‘Ambitions for palliative and end-of-life-care’


Filed under: NHS

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