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Inquiry finds end-of-life care wasn’t prioritised during the Covid-19 pandemic

27 Jan 2023 3 minute read
A new report has examined the experiences of people receiving palliative care during the pandemic

People receiving end-of-life care during the pandemic didn’t get the support they needed, a new report has found.

A cross-party group of MSs examined experiences of palliative and end-of-life care in the community during the pandemic and found dying people in Wales faced difficulties in getting the support they needed.

Hospice and palliative care played a critical role during the pandemic as deaths at home increased by over 30% – levels which continue close to this today.

The Cross Party Group (CPG) on Hospice and Palliative Care found that the surge in need revealed weaknesses in pre-pandemic planning and capacity.

The group is now warning that care for people dying at home must be prioritised.

The report found that people faced difficulties receiving suitable end-of-life care at home and in care homes, increasing existing inequalities and leading to some devastating experiences, including complex bereavement.

Despite these pressures, health and social care workers went above and beyond to support patients and their families during the pandemic.


Mark Isherwood, MS Chair of the group said: “The Covid-19 pandemic turned the world of palliative care on its head.

“We must learn from this and build on the collaboration and good practice seen during the pandemic, as well as acknowledging the gaps and weaknesses it revealed.

“The inquiry shows we must prioritise palliative care, to help us plan for future pandemics and meet the growing demand for end of life care in our communities.

Demand for palliative care in the community is forecast to double by 2040 and the MS’s are recommending a number of recommendations to ensure care provision is fit for the future.

Matthew Brindley, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Wales at Hospice UK, Secretariat to the Inquiry said: “The pandemic has given us a glimpse into how our health and social care system will cope under similar pressures in the not so distant future.

“The report by the CPG gives a pathway for how to meet this need. The hospice sector is ready to meet the challenge, but it needs greater support from government to do so.”

Among the recommendations, the cross party group said the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and Welsh Government should ensure the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry are informed by the experiences of people and service providers in Wales.

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1 year ago

That Covid driven panic was horrendous. Too many people went into freeze frame and failed to respond adequately. Management of the crisis by our political “leaders” was all about “stage management” scoring points and virtue signaling. Decisions such as mass transfer of infection from hospitals to care homes rank among the foulest deeds of our time.

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