News

Charities call for halt of postcode lottery in children’s end of life care

A coalition of charities wants the government to develop a national palliative care strategy for children and young people, and their families.

A coalition of charities wants the government to develop a national palliative care strategy for children and young people, and their families.

Pall_Care_Strateg
Picture: SPL

 

A coalition of six charities is calling on the government to halt the ‘cruel’ postcode lottery for children and families in England who need end of life care.

The charities want the government to develop a national children’s palliative care strategy.

They say this strategy should be based on a national inquiry into the care and support offered to babies, children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, and their families.

The coalition includes the charities Together for Short Lives, The Brain Tumour Charity, CLIC Sargent, Teenage Cancer Trust, Marie Curie and The National Gold Standards Framework Centre in End of Life Care.

The coalition also claims there are too few nurses and doctors with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to care for children at the end of their lives.

The charities want the government, Health Education England and universities to join them at a summit to discuss the children’s palliative care workforce and implementation of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on providing children’s palliative care.

Savings

NICE has calculated that by investing £12.7 million in implementing its guideline, non-cash savings of £34.7million would be released back into the NHS in England, according to the charities.

A report published last year by charity Together for Short Lives reveals almost half of local NHS planning and funding organisations in England are failing to implement the government’s end of life care choice commitment for children and young people, and have no plans to improve the situation.

Together for Short Lives chief executive Barbara Gelb said: ‘We only have one chance to get this right for each child. A bad death will stay with a family forever, affecting parents, siblings and all those close to the child.

‘I call on the government to make sure that its end of life care choice commitment to children is met across England.’

The charities will be putting forward their views at a Westminster reception next week called #FollowTheChild.


In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs