Dying Well Community Charter & Public Health Approaches Toolkit

We are supporting eight ‘Pathfinder’ organisations and groups across England, including CCGs, local authorities, and voluntary sector organisations, to pioneer a public health approach to end of life care - the ‘Dying Well Community Charter’.

Our Pathfinders are based in Lancaster, Cheshire, North Somerset, Dorset, Hackney, Hull & the East Riding of Yorkshire, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Six of the Pathfinders are also supporting a ‘buddy’ community.

There are more details on the Pathfinders and buddies here.


Pathfinders meeting together in Cheshire after they’ve launched the Charter in their areas

How did Pathfinders apply?

In September 2014, NCPC together with Public Health England (PHE) invited organisations and collaborations of organisations across England to express interest in becoming one of six Pathfinder Communities to pioneer a public health approach to end of life care - the Dying Well Community Charter.

The Charter

The new Charter was updated from “What makes a good death? A North East Charter” - produced by the NHS North East Strategic Health Authority in 2010. It incorporates the approach set out in our five Priorities for Care that came from the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) recommendations, as well as the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of General Practitioners’ 2011 End of Life Care Patient Charter.

Public Health Approaches to End of Life Care Toolkit

The Dying Well Community Charter was released in conjunction with the “Public Health Approaches End of Life Care Toolkit”, produced by Professor Allan Kellehear, now at Bradford University, and Dr Aliki Karapliagkou at Middlesex University, London. This will be a useful resource for Pathfinders to use to complement the Charter, as well as anybody wanting to find out more about these approaches.

Pathfinders and Buddies

We received 23 expressions of interest in becoming a Pathfinder community, and from these NCPC and PHE selected the eight Pathfinders, along with six additional ‘buddy’ communities who would be supported by a Pathfinder to launch and implement the Dying Well Community Charter in their areas.

You can find out more about who the Pathfinders and Buddies are here.

Where have we got to?

All of the eight Pathfinders have now launched the Dying Well Community Charter in their local areas, with events attended by a range of representatives from local communities, including MPs, mayors, councillors, faith leaders, BAME groups, artists, bereavement support services, local commissioners and social and health care staff. Many of the events were opened either by an MP or a councillor, as a local figure who emphasised the significance of the Charter and their hopes that it would be acted upon. 
Key figures in Hackney signed the Charter at their local launch event


Each event was also attended by at least one representative from either NCPC or Public Health England, who spoke about our hopes for the Charter over the coming year, and emphasised its potential as a tool for engaging local organisations and individuals. Speakers drew attention to the central passage of the Charter: “Dying and death do not happen in isolation from the rest of life...Care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not simply a task for health and social care services but is everybody’s responsibility”.

Over the coming year, Pathfinders will be engaging in a range of activities to involve their local communities in care and support. We will be supporting Pathfinders with this, providing an expert in public health approaches to end of life care.

Evaluating impact

NCPC will also work with Pathfinders to develop a method for evaluating the impact that Pathfinders are having on awareness and activities around dying, death and bereavement in their local areas, and is hoping to share learning from this over the coming year.

More information

You can find out more information about the work of specific Pathfinder and buddy sites using the e-mail addresses listed here. For general information, please contact policy@ncpc.org.uk.