End of life care is care that affects us all, at all ages; the living, the dying and the bereaved. Reports and investigations too frequently identify poor care and we have a responsibility to do better.
At the core of end of life care is honest conversations with patients and joint decision making with them. Value Based Healthcare has shown that in many cases, when patients properly understand their prognosis they are more likely to want to ensure the best possible quality of the time they have and the way their life ends, rather than focusing on using all possible interventions to prolong life.
Thousands of people die each year in Cheshire and Merseyside and half a million across England, and this is set to increase in line with the growing older population. In addition, more young adults are living with life-limiting conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis that need earlier palliative care.
We know how important it is to listen to patients and ensure they have as much control over their care as possible.
Our Partnership is committed to improving palliative and end of life care in Cheshire and Merseyside. Our priorities are:
- Enhancing physical and mental wellbeing of the individual
- Transforming experience of End of Life Care in the community and hospitals
- Commissioning quality services that are accessible to all when needed
We will ensure that our work is consistent with the Government’s six commitments, which aim to end variation in end of life care by 2020. They are:
- Honest discussions between care professionals and dying people
- Dying people making informed choices about their care
- Personalised care plans for all
- The discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals
- The involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care
- A key contact so people know who to contact at any time of day.
The lead for this programme is Janelle Holmes, Chief Executive at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.