Compassionate care for all

A review published this week suggests there is still much to be done if all parts of society are to receive high quality and compassionate care at the end of life. The research by the Care Quality Commission asked adults who may be less likely to receive good care – for instance because of diagnosis, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation, disability or social circumstances – to share their experiences.

Anne Harris, Director of Care, said,

‘This review was focussed on the care of adults, but similar challenges in accessing high quality care can be faced by children at the end of life as well. It is worrying to read that there are instances when an individual’s specific needs are not fully considered, and that health and care staff are not always joining up care or having conversations with people early enough about their end of life care. We now urge the Care Quality Commission to look in depth at the particular needs of children at the end of life, to make sure that NHS England’s ambition of personalised care is fully realised.’

The review’s publication was timed to coincide with Dying Matters week (9-15 May), which seeks to get people talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement. As part of this initiative, an open letter was published in the Sunday Telegraph. Jointly authored by the heads of UK end of life organisations, the letter urges the NHS to prioritise better care for both children and adults at the end of their lives.