Help the Hospices and care of dying people

23 July 2014
NCPC responds to Help the Hospices new initiative.

Help the Hospices have today announced a new initiative to transform care of dying people, and called on the government to back the scheme.

The initiative aims to cut the number of people dying in hospital by 50,000 each year – around a fifth of the total annual hospital deaths in the UK. This could lead to higher quality, better targeted care for dying people and significant savings for the NHS.

The new initiative will offer people increased choice about where they die, in line with their personal preferences. Hospices provide and support a range of alternative care options for dying people, including supporting more people to die at home.

The new programme is aimed at dying people who often fall through gaps in the care system and remain in hospital at the end of life because alternative options, such as hospice care, have not even been considered.

The scheme provides six pilot projects between hospice and NHS services to evaluate the impact of hospice led interventions in reducing unnecessary deaths in hospital that would begin in April 2015. Following completion of the pilots, the programme would then be rolled out nationally from April 2017.

Speaking today Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care said:

“We welcome this new initiative by Help the Hospices and share their concerns about the importance of tackling the challenges in care for dying people. Despite some progress, far too many people are still not getting the end of life care and support that is right for them.  We only have one chance to get it right for people who are dying, which is why there needs to be a much greater focus on meeting people’s end of life wishes, including by supporting more people to be cared for and die in the community rather than in hospital which for many people isn’t where they want to be.”

Click here to read the full announcement on the Help the Hospices website.

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