Dying Matters praised in End of Life Care Strategy

3 October 2011
The National End of Life Care strategy says Dying Matters has made real progress in raising awareness and changing public attitudes to dying, death and bereavement.

The third annual report from the strategy group was published by the Department of Health on 26 September 2011.

The Dying Matters Coalition was mentioned numerous times. The report said that Dying Matters has continued to make "real progress" in tackling the societal taboo around talking about death.

Our work with organisations and communities received particular mention. We now have more than 15,000 members, including health, social care and housing and care homes providers, hospices, national and local charities, pensioner groups, funeral directors and organisations from the legal and finance professions.  

The growing involvement of Coalition members was notably evidenced by the events and activities held nationwide during the second Dying Matters Awareness Week in May. These events engaged thousands of people.

We received considerable national, regional and trade media coverage during the week, and radio reach alone was estimated at 32 million.

Also mentioned in the report was the launch of the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) Find your 1% campaign, hosted by Dying Matters, which is aimed at encouraging GPs and other primary care professionals to identify the 1% of their patients who will die in the next 6-12 months as early as possible.

NCPC chief executive Eve Richardson said: “Three years on from the End of Life Care Strategy, considerable progress has been made to end of life care and we are really pleased that the contribution of the Dying Matters Coalition has been recognised.

"However, there is still a lot more to be done to ensure we have more open discussion about dying, better scrutiny of end of life care services, more people able to die in the place of their choice and round the clock support available for those who need it. We only get one chance to get end of life care right, which is why it is so important that improving the care people receive when they are dying remains a top priority for us all.”

Other work cited by the report includes the development and roll-out of the VOICES survey for bereaved carers to monitor for the first time on a national and annual basis people’s end of life care experiences; also, the development of a core data set for the content of Electronic Palliative Care Coordination Systems (AKA locality registers) to ensure people’s preferences are captured and shared across teams.

You can read the full report on the Department of Health website at www.endoflifecareforadults.nhs.uk/publications/end-of-life-care-strategy-third-annual-report

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