The NHS needs to do more for those needing end-of-life care
- 04 Sep
Charity Sue Ryder is calling for NHS England to include end-of-life indicators as part of the performance measurement for clinical commissioning groups.
Sue Ryder is a provider of specialist palliative care who come across many incidents where patients and their families feel unsupported and unclear about what choices they have available to them when looking into end-of-life care. This is believed to be due to the NHS being more geared toward saving lives, but lack proper care for those with untreatable problems needing end-of-life care.
End-of-life care is deemed the work of charities, whether that is through local, charity-run hospices, at-home support, Macmillan nurses or Sue Ryder community-based clinical nurse specialists. "We are concerned that the government and decision-makers, including CCGs and GPs, are using 'dying at home' as a proxy for quality," says Paul Woodward, chief executive at Sue Ryder. "This is not good enough. Dying at home does not always guarantee a 'good death'. Everyone deserves a pain-free death, in the place of their choosing and to be surrounded by loved ones."
In order for this to happen, specialist palliative services need to be much more widespread so that inequalities are reduced when accessing co-ordinated personalised and quality care at the end of life. The charity's research suggests that health professionals need to provide more information and to be measured against end-of-life care targets.
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