Palliative Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that end of life patients are able to die at home.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Our Commitment to you for end of life care’, published in 2016, set out what everyone should expect from their care at the end of life and the actions we are taking to make high quality, personalised care a reality for everyone. This includes measures to enable personalisation; improve care quality; enhance education and training in end of life care; and encourage the spread of innovative models of care. The Commitment also sets out that by 2020 we want to significantly improve patient choice, including ensuring an increase in the number of people able to die in the place of their choice, including at home.

Through the Mandate to NHS England, we have asked NHS England to deliver the Choice Commitment, and for 2018-19, we have set NHS England the objective of increasing the percentage of people identified as likely to be in their last year of life. Earlier identification should mean that a person’s end of life care can be improved by personalising it according to their needs and preferences at an earlier stage and to enable the right care planning can take place which is key to supporting someone to die in a place of choice. NHS England will use the Quality and Outcomes Framework to demonstrate such an increase by looking at the percentage of people who are on the general practitioner register for supportive and palliative care, and consider expected levels based on local populations. Currently the national English average is 0.37%, it is anticipated this figure will increase in the 2018/19 period.

NHS England has launched an ‘Identification Project’ with four integrated care systems/sustainability and transformation partnership areas to demonstrate how the number of people identified in the last year of life can be increased in practice, to train staff and share learning.

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