Clegg backs Dying Matters agenda

15 April 2011
Voluntary sector leaders, including National Council for Palliative Care and Dying Matters Chief Executive Eve Richardson, were at Downing Street on Wednesday to share their views on the proposed reforms of the NHS as part of the new Listening exercise.

At the event, attended by PM David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and  Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, Eve spoke about the importance of  listening to the views and wishes of people who are at the end of their life.

Our NCPC and Dying Matters surveys show that many people do not want to be in hospital but prefer more co-ordinated home and community-based services. The  new commissioning agenda needs to ensure that this happens, as currently 60 per cent of people still die in hospital, which does not  reflect wishes or needs and is not cost effective. This is a key example where the voluntary sector working with its partners can support the step change that is required in the NHS. Eve was supported in the feedback session by Nick Clegg.

Former Royal College of General Practitioners chair Professor Steve Field is to  head-up the NHS Future Forum, a two-month government ‘listening exercise’ in a bid to win round critics to its NHS reforms. Dying Matters will take up his invitation to support the groups with evidence of people choices and ensure that end of life care is included in the reforms.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Voluntary sector groups... will greatly benefit from our proposals.”

Lansley also announced £18.13 million support available through the Voluntary Sector Investment Fund, and a further £3.5 million for innovation to help charities to make the most of the opportunities in the NHS.

Speaking today, Friday, Eve Richardson said: “There has never been a more important time to ensure that everyone who needs it receives high quality end of life care. Every minute someone dies in England so it is vital that we get this right.

"This mean that we need collaborative commissioning and improved co-ordination of services across sectors."

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In the words of others...

‘How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.’

Dame Cicely Saunders (founder of the modern hospice movement)

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