Delivering choice at the end of life
Alex Burton - Carers in CancerBack to top
Alex Burton wasn’t able to attend due to ill health. Paul Burstow MP delivered his speech in his absence.
- Alex spoke about his experience of caring for his wife, Dorothy, at the end of life. She spent seven weeks in hospital before she died. Neither Alex nor Dorothy got the care and support they needed.
- Since then he has set up a support group and has found that the system is continuing to fail people at the end of life. He has witnessed uncoordinated care and a lack of support for carers, many of them elderly with other medical conditions.
- Many people who Alex’s group supports are unaware of the costs of social care and can be left with a large bill they did not plan for.
Jonathan Ellis - Help the HospicesBack to top
Jonathan Ellis is director of public policy & parliamentary affairs at Help the Hospices.
- The absence of social care at the end of life pushes people and families into crises at the most fraught time in their life.
- Lack of care at the end of life forces people into hospital, when they could be cared for at home.
- Free social care at the end of life would not only help people and families who are at the most vulnerable time in their lives, but would also save the NHS money through preventing admissions to hospital and speeding up hospital discharge.
Martin Bardsley - The Nuffield TrustBack to top
Martin Bardsley is head of research at the Nuffield Trust.
- There is only a slight rise in social care use at the end of life whereas hospital use increases significantly.
- People who use more social care at the end of life are admitted to hospital less often
View the presentation in Dropbox
Rick O’Brien - National End of Life Care ProgrammeBack to top
Rich O'Brien is social care lead at the National End of Life Care Programme.
- The 2008 end of life care strategy, adopted by this government, set out a plan to improve end of life care by improving the national level infrastructure, raising society’s awareness of death, and the integration of care.
- Improving social care at the end of life requires better collaboration between health and social care, workforce development, and better care planning.
- There are many options for implementing free social care, including through a commissioning end of life care support in dedicated units.