NCPC launches guide to improving local end of life care
'10 questions to ensure good end of life care in your area’ aims to help people in their localities scrutinise and challenge MPs, GP Commissioners, councillors and other decision makers regarding end of life care.
Published just two weeks before new reforms to the NHS, which will see major changes to how care is commissioned and who is accountable, come into effect, the booklet sets out key information people need to champion end of life care in their area.
The recommended questions include: 'What are people saying about the quality of care their loved ones have received locally?' and 'What support is available locally for carers of people approaching the end of life, including bereavement?'
After each question, the booklet explains its relevance and what else could be asked, and provides links to further resources.
With almost 600,000 people dying in the UK each year, and millions more directly affected by the death of someone close to them, the new guide is intended to help ensure that end of life care is a top priority at a local level. As well as setting out ten questions to ask locally and suggestions of who to ask these questions of, the guide provides links to where people can find additional information about end of life care provision.
In the foreword to the guide, Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice and Palliative Care, writes: "Although this booklet is for everybody, I hope that my parliamentary colleagues will also find it useful as they work to ensure their constituents get the care that they need. In England, on average, 4,250 people will die in each constituency during the lifetime of this Parliament. Thousands more will be bereaved as a result. We only have one chance to get it right for them and their families; there are no dress rehearsals for dying.”
Simon Chapman, the author of the booklet and NCPC Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs, said: "While new organisations are having to focus on implementing the Government’s reform programme, people will still be reaching the end of life and they and their families will continue to need excellent care.
"We only get one chance to get it right for them and we mustn’t lose sight of them in this transition period. By ensuring that they are aware of the key questions to ask local politicians and other decision makers, members of the public can play an important role in holding them to account and helping to improve the quality of end of life care for everyone.”
Imelda Redmond CBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, added: "Marie Curie provides high quality end of life care to over 35,000 terminally ill patients every year in their communities. We know that many more people face real problems accessing the care they need to ensure their loved ones have a dignified death in their place of choice. This publication will we hope will give the public a greater understanding of what local services should be available to them."