Dying Matters welcomes landmark NHS mandate

8 November 2012
The Dying Matters Coalition has welcomed the inclusion of end of life care in the NHS mandate.

End of life care had been omitted from an earlier draft of the mandate but, following campaigning by several leading charities including Dying Matters and its lead charity, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), it has been made a key priority.

The mandate, which sets out priorities for the health service over the next two years, will be delivered by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today. It is the first mandate from the government to the NHS, and will be issued to the NHS Commissioning Board, the new independent body tasked with achieving the best results for NHS patients.

Through the mandate the NHS will be measured for the first time on how successfully it achieves targets. These include: improving early diagnosis; cutting premature deaths from the biggest killers; improving care for new mothers; and better help for dementia sufferers.

The government has identified a number of areas in which it expects particular progress to be made. These include improving standards of care and not just treatment, especially for older people and at the end of people’s lives; and the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia. 

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition and NCPC, said: "We welcome the Government's recognition that end of life care should be a core priority for the NHS and that it has heard the deep concerns that we and many others expressed. The challenge now is to make this more than just a good intention and ensure that people approaching the end of life and their families get the dignified care and support they need. We only have one chance to get it right for them."

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For more information, visit the NHS Mandate website

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