End of Life Care

HC 99, Nineteenth Report of Session 2008-09 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

House of Commons - Public Accounts Committee
TSO (The Stationery Office)
End of Life Care - Front
Price: £11.00
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This report, 'End of Life Care (HC 99)', examines: the scale and quality of end of life care; the current and future approach to commissioning and funding of services; and the capability and capacity of NHS and social care staff to provide such care.

In England, approximately half a million people die each year. Around three quarters of deaths follow a period of chronic illness, such as cancer or heart disease, where people may need access to end of life care. End of life care services seek to support those with advanced, progressive, incurable illness to live as well as possible until they die.

The provision of end of life care is becoming increasingly complex, often requiring a complex mix of health and social care services. End of life care is delivered by many people, including families and friends, specialist palliative care staff and generalist staff such as doctors, nurses and social workers, for whom end of life care represents a varying proportion of their role.

There are no full estimates of the full financial cost of end of life care but, in 2006-07, primary care trusts estimated that they spent 245 million on specialist palliative care, delivered by around 5,500 staff with specific training in the management of pain and other symptoms.

Most people would prefer not to die in hospital but a lack of NHS and social care support services means that many people do so when there is no clinical need for them to be there.

The Department of Health published its 'End of Life Care Strategy' in 2008, which commits additional funding of 286 million over two years. It aims to increase the availability of services in the community and develop the skills of health and social care staff.

The Department of Health's 'End of Life Care Strategy: Promoting high quality care for all adults at the end of life' is available to download from the Department of Health website (opens new window).

The November 2008 National Audit Office report on this topic (ISBN 9780102954432) is available to buy separately, please see below.

Extent 44 pages ISBN 9780215530158
Size A4 Price £11.00
Format Paperback Published 14 May 2009
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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