New report highlights variation of specialist palliative care in London

18 September 2015
The first report on specialist palliative care services across London has found that despite some excellent provision, there are significant variations in care provision across the capital.

The report - A review of Specialist Palliative Care provision and access across London – Mapping the capital – was jointly produced by the London Cancer Alliance, PallE8 and Marie Curie in collaboration with specialist palliative care providers across London – and is the first time data on specialist services has been recorded in this way

It reveals that despite pockets of excellent provision, significant improvements are needed to ensure that people with advanced progressive life-limiting illnesses have access to specialist palliative care services at weekends.

The findings show that over two-thirds of hospital services and over a third of community services are not meeting the recommended NICE guidance and accepted best practice for the provision of 24/7 access to specialist palliative care telephone advice and 9am – 5pm, seven days a week access to face-to-face visiting.

Speaking in response to a new report on specialist palliative care services across London, Simon Chapman, Director of Policy, Intelligence and Public Affairs at the National Council for Palliative Care said:

Specialist palliative care makes a real difference to people’s lives, which is why it’s so important that it is accessible to all those who stand to benefit from it, whatever their condition, wherever they live and whatever time of day or night they need it. Supporting people to live well until they die should be core business for the NHS, and inconsistent provision of end of life care must not be tolerated. Ensuring that people who are dying get the care and support that is right for them must be a priority for policymakers and for all those involved in commissioning or providing services.”

Further information
  1. Download the report from the Marie Curie website.
  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.

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