Rainbow Trust responds to government’s end of life care report

Rainbow Trust welcomed the House of Commons Health Select Committee report of its inquiry into palliative and end of life care in England published yesterday (Sunday 15 March).

In the report the committee highlights the significant variation in specialist palliative care across the country and recommends that the government and NHS England sets out how universal, seven day access to specialist palliative care can be made available to all patients. Key findings of the committee were that:

  • Training should be provided to all health and social care staff working with people with life limiting conditions
  • Universal access to bereavement services should be included in government funding plans
  • Commissioners should be explicit about commissioning plans for palliative care including for children and adolescents
  • The government provides free social palliative care
  • The government should ensure that the funding model recognises the importance of the voluntary sector

Commenting on the report, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity Director of Care Anne Harris, said

‘This is a significant step forward and we welcome that systematic end-of-life planning is part of the government’s thinking. We would urge the next government to make this a priority and clearly the current system is not meeting the needs of all people. It is also crucial that the same consideration is put into planning children’s and young people’s social palliative care as well as adults. This is integral to a child’s end of life planning and their family’s well-being. This must be widely and consistently available.

We would also urge the government to recognise that cost-effective social palliative care for children and families can be provided in the community ‘outside of a traditional hospice setting’. It is also important to ensure that sustainable long-term funding is available on an equal basis to organisations like Rainbow Trust who are currently outside the scope of ‘hospice funding’ streams. We believe that families should have the right to choose their place of care and therefore funding should be available to make that choice a reality.”

Read the full End of Life report here.

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