The first group of hospital trusts chosen to take part in a new programme intended to improve palliative care have been named.
So far 10 acute trusts have been selected to take part in the Building on the best programme, which will support improvements in quality and experience of palliative and end of life care.
The 10 trusts to launch the programme are:
- Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
- Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Trust
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust
- Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
The programme is intended to reduce the “considerable variations” in the quality of end of life care in acute settings, given that almost half of people in England and Wales currently die in hospital.
It will see “support, knowledge and leadership” given to hospitals with the aim that patients experience good quality and safe care, and are able to make the choices that meet theirs and their family’s wishes, wherever they are.
The programme, which is UK-wide, will initially roll-out in England. It is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is supported by a partnership between the National Council for Palliative Care, Macmillan, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority.
The aim is to build on the successes of a previous programme – Transforming End of Life Care in Acute Hospitals.
As well as further developing the work of the earlier programme, the new initiative will develop new areas of focus for improving end of life care.
“This excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families”
These include making information more accessible to patients and families to encourage shared decision making, taking opportunities during outpatient appointments to discuss advance and anticipatory care planning, improving patient handover and pain and symptom management.
The programme will run for two and a half years after which it will be evaluated, with lessons learned used to improve work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country.
Key staff representing the project teams at the 10 trusts are set to meet at a two-day event in March.
Commenting on the programme, health minister Ben Gummer said: “This excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families at one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives.
“Thanks to the hard work of the NCPC and Macmillan, the crucial lessons from this programme can be evaluated, shared and implemented in hospitals across the country to ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.