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Improve the care we give people at the end of life

We will improve the care we give people at the end of life. We will fulfil the commitment we made that every person should receive attentive, high quality, compassionate care, so that their pain is eased, their spiritual needs met and their wishes for their closing weeks, days and hours respected.

Our Verdict

Following a 2015 independent review into “choice in end of life care”, the government made a commitment to end variation in end of life care across the health system by 2020. This includes developing personal care plans, supporting relatives, helping people make informed choices and providing contacts for help and advice. This policy is a pledge to fulfil that commitment, for every person to “receive attentive, high quality, compassionate care, so that their pain is eased, their spiritual needs are met, and their wishes for their closing weeks, days and hours are respected”.

In September 2017, the government published a review of its progress. It includes awareness campaigns, hospital and community health services inspections, developing an oversight board to manage the transformation in hospitals, promoting research and strengthening undergraduate and postgraduate health education to improve end of life care.

In February 2018, the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network, part of Public Health England, designed the End of Life Care Profiles to collect and share information around palliative and end of life care. The system, now operational, is helping to pinpoint variation, including by publishing interactive atlases of quality of end of life care. 

Based on this, it is fair to consider this policy ‘in progress’. It will be updated to done once there is evidence of reduced variation and consistently high quality care at the end of life. We’ll be tracking the data in the End of Life Care Profiles and seeking opinions from independent organisations, so follow this policy to receive the latest updates.

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