Sue Ryder comments on latest amendment to Health and Care Bill

25 Feb 2022

Government amendment to the Health and Care Bill would make it a legal right for dying people to receive the healthcare they need.

We’re pleased to see an amendment laid by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to the Health and Care Bill that would mean a change in law for the delivery of end of life services across England.

With estimates suggesting that as many as 90% of people who die in the UK may have a need for palliative care, fewer than 50% of people actually receive it. This announcement is a positive step forwards to addressing this, so end of life care is provided for patients across England.

Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said:

Sue Ryder is pleased to see the Government take a major step in response to calls from the palliative care sector to ensure patients who need end-of-life care can access it, no matter who they are or where they live.

"Our hospice services provide expert and compassionate palliative care to thousands of people each year. With the demand for palliative care expected to grow by 55% in the coming decade, the need for the commissioning of services couldn't be more urgent. The Government’s amendment to the Health and Care Bill is an important step in recognising this urgency.

"Sue Ryder is ready to work with the Department for Health and Social Care and Integrated Care Boards to get the level and delivery of services right, so that patients can receive the end-of-life care they deserve."

Over the past few months we’ve worked jointly with Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Together for Short Lives and Alzheimer's Society to campaign for palliative care services to be considered in the draft Health and Care Bill as it progressed through Parliament. Baroness Finlay brought an amendment forward in the House of Lords at Committee stage in January, and this was debated. She was ready to bring it back at the next stage of the Bill (Report stage) before this Government announcement.

Our campaign doesn’t end here, we now need to see the details of how this will work in practice. But for now, we welcome this announcement.

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Sue Ryder's public affairs work aims to influence the government in England and Scotland so that they take action to improve palliative, neurological and bereavement care.

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