NCPC responds to VOICES survey

23 April 2016
The National Council for Palliative Care has welcomed the release of the latest VOICES survey of recently bereaved people.


The National Council for Palliative Care has welcomed the release of the latest VOICES survey of recently bereaved people. The survey, based on responses from over 20,000 people, is an in-depth look at the opinions of bereaved families about the care received by their loved ones. Headline findings include:

  • 3 out of 4 bereaved people (75%) rate the overall quality of end of life care for their relative as outstanding, excellent or good; 1 out of 10 (10%) rated care as poor.
  • Overall quality of care for females was rated significantly higher than males with 44% of respondents rating the care as outstanding or excellent compared with 39% for males.
  • 7 out of 10 people (69%) rated hospital care as outstanding, excellent or good which is significantly lower compared with care homes (82%), hospice care (79%) or care at home (79%).


Simon Chapman, Director of Policy and External Affairs for the National Council for Palliative Care, said “the VOICES survey makes a really valuable contribution to the  development of end of life care and policy. It is essential that we hear and remember the voices of those who have lost someone, and through them the experiences of people in their final days and hours. Although these figures are encouraging, we cannot accept any situation in which any individuals receive less than good quality end of life care. Through initiatives such as the Building on the best programme, we and our partners are constantly pushing for improvements. It is essential that the government now urgently gives a positive response to the Choices Review of 2015 to help keep this moving forward. Second-best is not good enough when someone we love is dying.”


In many cases, the survey results for 2015 were almost identical to the 2014 findings. Simon Chapman says "there is a lot to learn from this data, but one thing that leaps out is that very little is changing. What's good remains good, and what's poor remains poor. We need to see improvements in the areas that are lagging, which means leadership across all areas and levels of health service provision needs to make end of life care a core priority for their organisations. The health and care system needs to listen to what bereaved people are saying consistently and clearly about quality and experience of end of life care."

The VOICES survey can be downloaded from the ONS site

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