MPs and Peers attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice & Palliative Care on 17th November 2015, and were united with charities in calling for proper investment in end of life care from central government and local commissioners.
Fabian Hamilton MP, who chairs the group, called on the government to commit to the £130m of net spending which is recommended in the report from the Review of Choice in End of Life Care, What’s important to me (the ‘Choice Review’).
Rob Marris MP, who introduced the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill in the House of Commons, and Robert Preston, from Living and Dying Well, both spoke of the importance of providing adequate pain relief in hospital and community settings.
Helen Findlay, who has personal experience of end of life care and was on the Programme Board for the Choice Review, also emphasised the need for adequate pain relief, the importance of being listened to and for proper co-ordination of services. Helen argued that access to palliative care is a human right.
Baroness Ilora Finlay, NCPC’s Chair of Trustees, explained that her Access to Palliative Care Bill is designed to place a duty on Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to enable people access to good end of life care in their areas, with adequate training for health and social care staff and support for families and carers of people at the end of life.
Claire Henry, NCPC’s Chief Executive, emphasised the importance of working together with government and across the end of life care sector to turn what’s important to me and the recently published Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care into action.
NCPC, as part of the End of Life Care Coalition, is continuing to campaign for the Government to the make the financial commitment recommended in the Choice Review.