Local hospice provider, St Catherine’s Hospice, welcomes the introduction of the Access to Palliative Care Bill which will be debated in Parliament at the end of this week (23 October). The hospice believes the Bill would have a positive impact in ensuring as many people as possible are able to benefit from quality end of life care.
The Bill seeks to make sure that every person has access to palliative care services and emphasises the need for more education, training and research to ensure that end of life care is of the highest quality possible. Earlier this month, the 2015 Death Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, reported how hospices have helped the UK become world leaders in end of life care. The UK ranked first out of eighty countries for providing the best end of life care but it is also publicly acknowledged that hospice care is still not accessible for all.
Last year, St Catherine’s cared for more than 2,000 people. Recognising that patients are more than their illness, the hospice works hard to promote a sense of comfort and wellbeing for patients and their family and friends. At a time when so much has been taken away, St Catherine’s helps patients to look forward and live well for the time they have left. But there is more to do.
The hospice firmly believes that the kind of expert and highly supportive end of life care they provide should be available to more people locally. With plans for a potential, new hospice building and by continuing to work with local commissioners from the NHS, St Catherine’s is committed to exploring new ways to meet the increasing demands for their specialised care and to become more responsive to community needs.
The Palliative Care Bill also makes reference to ensuring adequate support is given to all health and social care providers who care for people at end of life. As the area’s local hospice, St Catherine’s regularly hosts training courses for fellow healthcare providers – in care homes, hospitals and nursing homes, to make sure as many local people as possible benefit from their expertise.
Dr Patricia Brayden, Medical Director at St Catherine’s, said: “We welcome this Bill as it will support us in reaching our objective of helping more local people affected by death and dying in our area. St Catherine’s is committed to making sure everyone in our local community has access to the very best care at the end of their lives.”