New Building on the best programme aims to improve end of life hospital care across the UK

18 February 2016
The first group of participants in a new programme to improve palliative care have been named. Ten acute hospital trusts have been selected to take part in the ‘Building on the best’ programme, which will support improvements in quality and experience of palliative and end of life care across the UK.





The ten acute trusts to launch the programme are:

  • Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHSFT
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital NHSFT
  • Guys & St Thomas' Hospital NHSFT
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHSFT
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust
  • Poole Hospital NHSFT
  • Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Almost half of people who die in England and Wales currently die in hospital (see note 1), yet there are considerable variations in the quality of end of life care in hospitals. This programme will see support, knowledge and leadership provided to hospital settings in order that people experience good quality and safe care, and are able to make the choices that meet theirs and their family’s wishes, wherever they are.

Health Minister Ben Gummer said: I am determined to improve end of life care and this excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families at one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives. 

Thanks to the hard work of the NCPC and Macmillan, the crucial lessons from this programme can be evaluated, shared and implemented in hospitals across the country to ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The programme, which is UK-wide, will initially roll-out in England. It is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is supported by a partnership between the National Council for Palliative Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority in England.

As well as further developing the work of the Transforming End of Life Care in Acute Hospitals Programme, Building on the best will develop new areas of focus for improving end of life care. These will include making information more accessible to patients and their families, to enable more shared decision making; taking the opportunities offered by outpatient appointments to discuss advance and anticipatory care planning; improving the handover of information and records as people move between acute and secondary care; and improving pain and symptom management.

The programme will run for two and a half years.  There will be a thorough evaluation and lessons learned will be used to contribute to improvement work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country. Key staff, representing the project teams, from each of the ten will gather for first time at a two day event in March.

Anita Hayes was part of the panel who selected the ten successful trusts. She says “We were impressed by the number and the quality of the applications received. The Transform programme has clearly helped hospitals make good progress in this area. Building on the best will enable us to take this further and help develop ways for these improvements to be shared widely.”

For more information, click here. 

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