New vision for palliative and end of life care in Wales
The Welsh minister for health and social services has announced there will be a ‘renewed focus’ on helping people in Wales who need palliative care to achieve the best quality of life possible and die with dignity.
Setting out its vision for palliative and end of life care, the Welsh Government has developed a Quality Statement alongside a range of stakeholders, outlining the commitments and expectations for children, young people and adult Palliative and End of Life Care.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said the aim is to ensure safe, timely, effective, person centred and equitable services across Wales and for care to be delivered for all who require it based on their individual needs and wishes including place of care and death.
Anyone identified as requiring palliative care will be given the opportunity to talk through their needs, wishes and preferences to ensure they receive the right care for them.
To achieve this vision there will be a broader focus on health and social care and third sector provisions rather than specialist palliative care alone including access to ‘wrap around’ care that offers therapeutic services.
There will be renewed focus on ensuring people can maintain as good a quality of life as possible and on joined up services. A 24/7 single point of access will work with people to co-ordinate their care, including medication, and providing advice in order to reduce distress and admission to secondary care.
Die with dignity
Ms Morgan said: “A large and growing proportion of adults will have a life-shortening illness for a period of time when care needs are intensive.
“Good palliative care can make a huge difference to a person’s quality of life as well as for those who care for them, helping them to live as well as possible and to die with dignity.
“We are committed to ensuring that anyone requiring palliative and end of life care in Wales should have access to the best possible care. This Quality Statement will improve the quality of end of life services and address any variations in care.
“I look forward to working with all our partners to deliver the commitments set out in the Quality Statement.”
The NHS Executive will support Health Boards to deliver improved end of life services through the National Programme Board for End of Life Care.
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