6 July 2016
In February 2015, advice from a government-commissioned independent review, A Review of Choice in End of Life Care
was published. Today, the government responded saying, amongst other things, it would ensure that in England:
- There are end of life care experts available around the clock to help dying people and their families with symptom control and deteriorating conditions late at night or at the weekend
- Better community care through local urgent and emergency care hubs, new‘ care coordinator roles and pilots of community nursing provision
- Better training and education on end of life care for healthcare professionals and
- Personalised care plans for those at the end of their life
Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“As a cancer charity that has been pressing the government to prioritise end of life care it is very encouraging to see it committing to providing round the clock care to help dying people and their families day and night. Better training and education for nurses and healthcare professionals on end of life care is also a positive move that could make a huge difference to those at the end of their lives. We welcome the government’s plans to ensure that those who are dying get a personalised care plan. This will make it easier for relatives and healthcare staff to make sure patients gets the care they want and, where possible, die in the place of their choice.
“At the moment, end of life care for cancer patients is patchy, meaning that in some areas of England thousands of people each year spend their final days in hospital when they would rather be at home. Others suffer from unnecessary pain and discomfort. Dying patients should be entitled to high quality personalised care, have their pain controlled and be supported to die in the place they wish. Help should extend to family and loved ones so they feel supported at an extremely difficult time.
“It is vital that the recommendations in last year’s Review of Choice in End of Life Care are put in place to ensure this happens. Today’s commitment from the government is a vital first step. It is now up to NHS England and other health bodies to deliver these plans. And they will need the necessary funding over the coming years if we are to see patients at the end of their lives get the care and support they need.”
For further information, please contact:
Catherine Jones, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2453 (out of hours 07801 307068)
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk