National Council for Palliative Care calls for review of how end of life issues are dealt with across government

23 July 2015
The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) has today called for a review into how dying, death and bereavement are dealt with across government departments and public bodies.

The calls are included in NCPC’s new report ‘Time for action: why end of life care needs to improve and what we need to do next’, which sets out the case for strong national leadership from Government on end of life issues in the wake of a series of hard-hitting reports. 

Although much has been achieved since the first national End of Life Care Strategy in 2008, the report argues that the scale and rate of change needs to be stepped up, not least to meet new demographic challenges. As part of this NCPC would like the Government to consider following the example of the Irish Taoiseach, who recently announced the establishment of an independent review of the way in which government departments and public bodies deal with end of life issues. 

It is envisaged that a review in England would focus not only on how to ensure continued improvements to end of life care in the NHS but also on issues including how the benefits system supports people who are terminally ill, are carers or who have been bereaved; bereavement support in the workplace; coroner rules relating to home deaths; how children are supported on issues around dying, death and bereavement in schools; and public awareness of ways in which they can plan ahead, including through Lasting Power of Attorney and Wills.

Urging that “2015 must be a momentous year for end of life care in England”, NCPC’s report follows on from and draws on a series of important reports this year – including from the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman, the Health Select Committee and the Review of Choice at the End of Life - which have highlighted inequalities in how dying people and their families are cared for and supported.

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

We need to change the nation’s approach to dying, so that people approaching the end of life and their families receive better care and improved support - and so that as a society we become able to deal with dying, death and bereavement. That’s why we would like to see stronger leadership from Government, including a commitment to reviewing into ways in which government departments and public bodies could better meet the needs of people on end of life issues.

Further information

  1. Download Time for Action here.
  2. The National Council for Palliative Care is the umbrella charity for all those involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also leads the Dying Matters Coalition ( which aims to help transform public attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement in England and Wales.
  3. For all media enquiries including to arrange an interview please contact Joe Levenson, Director of Communications at the National Council for Palliative Care on 020 7697 1520 or 07795 158003. 

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