Hospice UK welcomes new C5 series on dying and end of life care

Jul 20, 2015

From today Channel 5 is running a new series about dying and end of life care in its regular news bulletins, running each day throughout this week until Friday.

The series entitled: The Last Taboo will focus on a range of issues around dying and end of life care, including hospice care. It features an interview with Hospice UK Chair Lord Howard, as well as footage from several of Hospice UK’s member hospices.

The issues covered in the series include: cuts to statutory funding for hospices and to end of life care budgets, lack of training in palliative care for medical staff in hospitals, societal taboos around death and dying

Commenting on the C5 series, Dr Ros Taylor MBE, National Director for Hospice Care at Hospice UK, said:

“Channel 5’s new series takes an unflinching look at how we as a nation approach death and dying. It unpicks several important issues to explore why people do not always get access to high quality end of life care and why too many are deprived of the opportunity for a peaceful and comfortable death.

“The failure to invest in end of life care in England highlighted in C5’s Freedom of Information (FoI) data is particularly worrying, especially in light of the growing demand for this type of care driven by the UK’s ageing population. It reflects similar findings by Hospice UK published earlier this month which showed that statutory funding for many hospices is dwindling year on year.

“C5’s findings about the shockingly high number of health trusts which do not run mandatory training in care of the dying for doctors and nurses draws attention to an often neglected issue.

“Tackling this lack of training is absolutely critical to improving end of life care in hospitals and it has been swept under the carpet for far too long. Many hospices are working in partnership with hospitals and training NHS colleagues through the Quality End of Life Care for All (QELCA) scheme. However, at present this is limited to small pockets of local activity. We need more buy-in from the NHS at national level for this type of training to become more widespread across the country. This is especially important if we are to avoid more of the tragic stories such as the circumstances of the sad death of Charity Bagwell’s mother highlighted in this series.

“C5’s public opinion poll shows that an overwhelming majority of people surveyed regard home or a hospice as places that would offer most compassionate care at the end of life. Hospices support hundreds of thousands of people to receive high quality end of life care, in the place they prefer, especially as most of the care they provide is in people’s own homes.

“The invaluable role of hospices need to be much more widely recognised, if as a society we are to achieve lasting, positive changes in end of life care across all care settings.”  

Footage from the C5 series will be available on Hospice UK's website later this week.

Notes to Editor

  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
  • Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • For further information about hospice care follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk. This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews.

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