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Palliative Care

Question for Department of Health

UIN 52391, tabled on 8 November 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will take further steps to take into account the views of friends and primary care givers who are not relatives where appropriate when end of life care is being managed by health professionals.

Answered on

17 November 2016

On 5 July, the Government set out its plans to improve end of life care in the Government response to the independent Review of Choice in End of Life Care. It set out the Government’s commitment to everyone at the end of life, including that everyone should be able to expect the involvement of their family, carers and those important to them such as close friends in their care, to the extent they wish them to be.

All staff involved with dying people must be capable of having difficult conversations about death and dying, take the time to listen carefully to what dying people and those important to them say, and provide opportunities for developing, reviewing and updating personalised care plans with dying people. Health and care providers delivering this care must ensure that staff have the time and space to achieve this.

NHS England is working with two New Care Model sites of Airedale and Southend to test an innovative approach to ‘serious illness conversations’ in which clinicians are trained to support people with serious illnesses to discuss what is important to them, treating these discussions as a clinical intervention which delivers patient-centred care.

Health Education England (HEE) is developing a refreshed core competency framework to standardise end of life care training and working with partners to strengthen the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula to support patient choice and improve quality of care.