New Framework for improving end of life care

A set of principles entitled Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care has been developed by the National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership with the goal of improving palliative and end of life care across the UK. At the heart of these principles lies the goal of making care for those suffering from ill health at the end of their life as caring and specific to their individual needs as possible. The Partnership draws together an influential group of national organisations to tackle the issue of inadequate end of life care including the Care Quality Commission, General Medical Council and the College of Nursing amongst others.

The goals of the Partnership and the recently published principles are six-fold to ensure that:

· Each person is seen as an individual

· Each person gets fair access to care

· Maximise comfort and wellbeing

· Care is coordinated

· All staff are prepared to care

· Each community is prepared to help.

The ambition is to use this policy as a framework at a local level to drive forward positive outcomes for those that are subject to palliative and end of life care. Professor Edward Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the CQC states:-

“Our role is to inspect the quality of end of life care services. We know from our inspections so far there are services that are providing good and outstanding care for people at the end of their lives across hospitals, care homes and hospices. However, there are many services that are not delivering this. The priority now must be for services in all areas to adopt the Ambitions and take action to ensure that services are consistently of high quality.”

The aim of creating this new framework is to provide the national ‘definition’ of excellent end of life and palliative care services. The view of the Partnership is that it is the responsibility of local leaders to self-elect themselves in particular areas such as, CCGs, Local Authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards. The need for such a framework is obvious but the proof lies in the uptake and those self-elected bodies who can further spread the message to improve care for those who need it most.

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