Today sees the launch of a new report called “What’s important to me. A Review of Choice in End of Life Care”, written by The Choice in End of Life Care Programme Board.
This group was commissioned to provide advice to Government on improving the quality and experience of care for adults at the end of life, their carers and others who are important to them by expanding choice.
The report outlines the issues people approaching the end of life are currently facing and offers a blueprint for how greater choice in end of life care can be achieved. Our Head of Policy & Campaigns, Preth Rao, has written about our involvement and the difference that good end of life care makes.
You can read the full Review of Choice in End of Life Care report here
A privilege to be part of this
"Sue Ryder was privileged to be a member of the Programme Board for the Choice Review into end of life care, which has today announced its official recommendations for improving care choices for dying people.
For the first time ever, recommendations for a National Choice Offer to be implemented by 2020 have been suggested; this is a historic landmark which will signify a huge improvement in what it will be like for people to die in England.
We've been campaigning to improve end of life care and support services for dying people and their families for decades and the Choice Review’s recommendations have reinforced many of our priorities. In October 2014, we launched our Dying doesn’t work 9 to 5 campaign
, calling for dying people and their families to have access to 24/7 coordinated care and support services.
Support from over 44,000 people
Our petition has already received over 44,000 signatures, with members of the public really getting behind our call. We're therefore particularly pleased that the Choice Review has recommended dedicated care co-ordination at the end of life.
It says that each person in need of end of life care should be offered a care coordinator who would be their first point of contact in relation to their care and preferences. This recognises how essential it is to ensure dying people have their choices and preferences respected which in turn significantly improves their quality of life.
We've also been campaigning for free and fast access to social care for individuals at the end of life, alongside a number of other charities - and we therefore also welcome the Review’s strong recommendation for the Government to implement a clear policy and make this a reality.
Greater equality in access to services
As a provider of palliative and neurological care, we are committed to ensuring choice and control at the end of life genuinely exists for everyone and we hope that the Review's recommendations will help to ensure that there is greater equality in access to end of life services, regardless of condition, age or where you live.
We need to make sure that choice exists for everyone, where possible, as a result of this Review.
It's also been recognised that there needs to be improved availability of around the clock palliative services in the community and that there's a need to deliver more choice for people to help prevent long and unnecessary hospital stays.
Recent research undertaken as part of our Dying doesn’t work 9 to 5 campaign
clearly demonstrated that the provision of palliative services in the community varies greatly, with only 40 out of 180 CCGs who responded commissioning community matrons and just over half commissioning palliative social workers. These roles can be critical in helping people to die in their place of preference, which is usually at home, by ensuring that they and their loved ones receive the tailored care and support that they need and deserve.
We eagerly await the Government’s response to the Choice Review and look forward to seeing its recommendations for improving end of life care and choices become a reality. For this to happen we need £130million investment in social care and NHS services in the next spending to make a national choice offer at end of life a reality as clearly set out by the Review.”