'No plans in place for the dying' claim
Published on 21 March 2013 12:30 PM
The needs of dying people seem to have been ignored by nearly half of the new health bodies introduced under NHS reforms, says a new report.
The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) says that the bodies don't appear to have plans in place to meet the needs of people who are dying in their area.
The umbrella organisation for palliative care claims many of the new boards have failed to set out their strategies for end-of-life care.
The NCPC says the boards, which were introduced under the Health and Social Care Act, must urgently rectify this as they take on new responsibilities when the health reforms start on April 1.
A total of 117 from the 152 of these new Health and Wellbeing boards have published their health and wellbeing strategies, said the NCPC.
But only just over half of these (54%) - 63 of them - have considered the needs of people at the end of their lives.
The Health and Wellbeing Boards are a key part of the Government's new health reform strategy.
'Dismay' at lack of strategies to meet needs of the dying
Simon Chapman, the NCPC's director of policy and parliamentary affairs, said it is a cause of 'great dismay' that almost half don't seem to have strategies laid down to address the requirements of not only people who are dying in their area, but also those who care for them.
Mr Chapman said there are 'excellent examples' of Health and Wellbeing Boards outlining what they propose to do on end-of-life issues.
But this needs to be repeated throughout the country, he said, as there is only one opportunity to get care right for people nearing the end of their lives.
Mr Chapman added: 'This is why we're calling on those boards who have not yet set out how they will help meet the needs of people approaching the end of their life to do so as a matter of urgency.'
His comments come in a new NCPC report called 'Does Dying Matter To England's New Health And Wellbeing Boards?'
Mr Chapman said: 'There is no dress rehearsal for the dying.'
Copyright Press Association 2013