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Cancer: Palliative Care

Department of Health written question – answered on 23rd November 2016.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with GPs and cancer charities on the use of palliative chemotherapy for cancer patients as part of end of life care.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department is in regular contact with cancer charities and health professionals about improving end of life care so everyone approaching the end of life receives high quality care that reflects their individual needs, choices and preferences.

The decision to treat cancer patients in the last days of life is quite rightly for clinicians, with patients fully involved and their views and wishes taken into account. Last year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published new guidelines on ‘The Care of Dying Adults in the Last Days of Life’ which set out how clinicians should review prescribed medicines, and after discussion and agreement with the dying person and those important to them (as appropriate), stop any previously prescribed medicines that are not providing symptomatic benefit or that may cause harm.

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