Hospice UK comments on new Marie Curie report Triggers for Palliative Care.
The report identifies that many people with terminal illnesses other than cancer do not receive vital palliative care, often due to a limited understanding amongst healthcare professionals and the public about what palliative care can do, who it benefits and the confidence to introduce it.
The report highlights that healthcare professionals often receive very little training in palliative care and therefore patients miss the opportunity to have conversations about the future or be referred to hospice and palliative care teams who could help with the distress of living with terminal illness.
Marie Curie is calling for healthcare professionals to receive mandatory learning placements in palliative care to ensure that everyone with a terminal illness gets the care and support that they need, when they need it.
Commenting on the report, Dr Ros Taylor MBE, National Director for Hospice Care at Hospice UK, said:
“There is a glaring gap in palliative care education for healthcare professionals, coupled with a severe lack of awareness and a lot of fear about when a palliative approach could help.
“This knowledge and confidence gap means that, sadly, many terminally ill people are deprived of the vital support they need. Doctors and nurses need the confidence to talk about difficult things and be brave enough to ask the right questions. Hospices throughout the UK are expert educators and great places to learn. A more systematic approach to involve hospices in the training of all healthcare staff would be welcomed.
“For example, Hospice UK and St Christopher’s Hospice (London) have developed the Quality End of Life Care for All (QELCA) programme for nurses in hospitals. The programme is led by hospice staff and has helped increase hospital nurses’ knowledge and confidence to communicate with terminally ill people and their families.
“It is vital to make progress on this crucial issue and we hope Marie Curie’s report will help move it higher up the national health agenda.”
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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