Responding to the publication of the Health Select Committee's report on End of Life Care, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Hospice UK, said:
“We welcome the committee's recommendation that hospices are given adequate recognition for the care that they provide, as well as reliable funding in order to continue their vital work. It’s time for a new and sustainable partnership between hospices and the wider care system.
“Hospices are major providers and funders of care for people affected by terminal illness, spending over £700 million a year on high quality and compassionate care to meet the needs within their communities. They are ideally placed to help the wider care system meet the growing demand for end of life care as a result of our country’s ageing population.
“The committee’s recommendation that the government should deliver free social care for those approaching the end of life is also to be welcomed. Report after report in recent years has recommended that social care should be free and fast for people approaching the end of life. The time has come for government to act and end the shameful situation where dying people are forced to pay for their social care needs.
“The report also highlights the need for health and care staff to be adequately trained and supported in meeting end of life care needs. Hospices already play a key role in training local health and social care staff, and are well placed to help improve the confidence and skill of people working on the front line of care.
"The next government should act on the recommendations and observations in the committee's report and work more closely with our country’s hospice movement to deliver better care for all at the end of life.”
Read the Health Select Committee's report on End of Life Care.