Contribution of Dying Matters highlighted in End of Life Care Strategy Annual Report

Date: 
19 October 2012
The Fourth Annual Report of the National End of Life Care Strategy was published this week by the Department of Health. Launching the report, new Minister for Care Services Norman Lamb MP described it as an “optimistic document” that shows the progress made in helping people to plan for how and where they’d prefer to be cared for at the end of life”.

The contribution that Dying Matters has made since it was set up in 2009 is referred to throughout the report. In his foreword, Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, Chairman of the End of Life Care Strategy Implementation Advisory Board highlights the growth in membership of Dying Matters to over 20,000 members as well as our reach during this year’s awareness week including online . In his executive summary, Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care also praises the coalition’s growth in membership and the increased involvement of members at a local level as well as its growing media profile. He wrote that “Dying Matters continues to make major strides towards engaging the public and tackling the taboo of discussing death and dying” and wrote of the impact the coalition has had and the “marked contrast to the picture when the National Council for Palliative Care accepted the challenge to set up the Coalition in 2009.”

Also praised in the report is the Find your 1% campaign, led by the National End of Life Programme with support from Dying Matters, aimed at encouraging GPs to identify patients who are coming towards the end of their lives so that they can talk about their wishes with them. In all, over 2,900 clinicians have engaged with the campaign so far. We were really pleased that In his speech yesterday to the End of Life Care Annual Conference Norman Lamb singled out the case study on the Dying Matters Find your 1% website, featuring Dr Peter Nightingale, a Lancaster GP and the difference advance care planning can make – as well as the wider work of Dying Matters in changing attitudes and behaviour.

Speaking today, Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition said:

“A great deal of progress has been made to end of life care and we are delighted that the contribution of Dying Matters and its members has been recognised, but there is still a lot more to be done. Too many people remain unable to get end of life care where they want it, which for most people is in their homes, or when they need it. We only have one chance to get end of life care right, which is why it is imperative that improving care and support for people who are dying is a priority throughout health and social care, especially for the new GP commissioners. Supporting work to change public attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement must also remain a government priority. How we care for dying people should be a litmus test of whether the health and social care reforms are working and judged by the  dignity and respect given to all people at the end of their life in all settings.

You can read the full report at the Department of Health website here.

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