Palliative and end of life care
Approximately half of adults live for five years or more after a cancer diagnosis; half do not. Our ambition is to provide support to every person living with cancer, every step of the way. Palliative and end of life care is an important part of the experience of many people diagnosed with cancer, and their friends, loved ones and relatives.
Nearly all of our nine outcomes above apply to people with palliative care needs:
care is personalised
care is coordinated
people are helped to make informed decisions and plans
carers are supported
here’s an emphasis on quality of life.
The last outcome, ‘I want to die well’, is central to our end of life strategy and our vision, in support of it is:
People who are nearing the end of their life will be supported to make decisions that allow them and their family or carers to be prepared for their death. Their care will be well coordinated and planned so that they die in the place and in the way that they have chosen.
Our framework mirrors the key themes identified within the various national strategies for palliative and end of life care across the UK:
identification of people approaching the end of life and initiating discussions
coordination of care
delivery of high quality services in all locations
management of the last days of life
support for carers, both during a person’s illness and after their death
raising the profile of death and dying
Advance Care Planning: new e-learning course and video
Encouraging people to put their affairs in order, plan ahead and make choices about their future care is important, and we want to better support health and social care professionals to do this.
We’ve therefore developed a new Advance Care Planning e-learning course specifically for professionals supporting people affected by cancer, which explores:
what advance care planning is
the benefits, barriers, and their role in the process
how to start a conversation on advance care planning
the different ways a person can plan ahead
the legalities of advance care planning and how these differ across the UK.
The e-learning module aims to provide professionals across a range of roles with the tools to help them feel more confident and better equipped to support people to make advance care plans.
We’ve also produced an Advance Care Planning video which gives an overview of the Advance Care Planning process. Where appropriate, and if they find it useful, we’re asking professionals to watch this with the people they support to help introduce them to the process of advance care planning and to direct them to our nation-specific information booklet Your Life and Your Choices: Plan Ahead.
If you have any feedback on the video, please email Anne McGee.
Being at home made the situation easier for us to cope with. It was comforting to know Emile was in the place he wanted to be and surrounded by people he knew and loved.
Liz, campaign supporter.
24/7 community nursing
With the right support, 73% of people with cancer would prefer to die at home, yet only 27% actually do.
More than four in 10 (44%) Primary Care Trusts don't provide round the clock care to all patients, which is why so many people don't have a choice.
Not only would 24/7 community nursing make a difference to people with cancer, the NHS would save money too. The average cost of keeping someone in hospital for the last year of their life is £222 per day, compared to £28 per day for care at home - nearly eight times less.
We want anyone living with cancer, nearing the end of their lives, to have access to 24/7 nursing in the community, so they can die at home if they wish.
Join our campaign for 24/7 community nursing for end of life cancer patients.
Free social care at the end of life
We believe everyone should have the right to choose where they die. That's why we are asking government to make free social care available to everyone at the end of life.
You can help us make the case for change. If a loved one struggled to get the social care support they needed to give them choice at the end of life, then your story could help strengthen our campaign. If you’d be willing to share your experiences then contact us at email@example.com.
Find out more about the campaign.