The Department of Health published a progress report this week on the new approach to care in the last days and hours of life.The report shows the progress organisations have made on specific commitments in the ‘One Chance to Get it Right’ report, which set out actions to improve care in the last days and hours of life.
Speaking today in response to the publication, Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care said: “We welcome the publication of the ‘One Chance to get it right: One year on report’, and the undoubted and much-needed progress that is being made across the health and care system on commitments to improve end of life care. However, there’s still a lot more that needs to be done to improve the quality of people’s end of life care and the choice available, not least as this report itself includes ratings from Care Quality Commission inspections of acute hospitals which show that more than 1 in 4 acute hospitals require improvement when it comes to end of life care, with safety a particular cause for concern in almost half of hospitals inspected. There is no room for complacency. We need to transform the approach that health and care organisations take to end of life care, with strong national and local leadership that makes this a core priority. This needs to apply to research as well. Currently only 10p in every £100 of the medical research budget goes on research into end of life care and terminal illness, even though we all one day die, many of us from progressive illnesses.
Dying, death and bereavement have a wider impact beyond health and care, which is why we also believe that the Government should commit to an independent review of the ways in which government departments and public bodies could better meet the needs of people on end of life issues, including through the benefits system, bereavement support in the workplace and the ease with which the public can plan ahead, for example through Lasting Power of Attorney and Wills.”