Hospice UK has launched its 2021 Scottish Parliament election manifesto priorities, calling on the next Scottish Government to take action to ensure people in Scotland living with a terminal or life-shortening condition, and their carers, receive the support they need, with one in four Scots currently missing out on the care they need at the end of life.
Among its asks, the charity urges all political parties to:
- Commit to a new national plan for palliative and end of life care for Scotland that puts tackling inequalities at its heart. With people from BAME, LGBTQ+ and deprived communities less likely to access palliative care, alongside increasing numbers of people in Scotland needing palliative care, particularly in the community, it is paramount the new government must renew Scotland’s commitment to tackle inequalities and ensure everyone receives the care they need at the end of life.
- Plan for, invest in and develop the infrastructure for bereavement support for everyone who needs it, including building capacity and resilience within local communities - an issue that has been highlighted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations include developing a national plan for bereavement support in Scotland and commissioning research to better understand bereavement needs across the country.
- Deliver a proactive, responsive and flexible social care system that meets the changing needs of people living with a terminal illness, that is driven by quality, not cost, as well as making sure the workforces have the skills to meet the growing need and complexity of palliative and end of life care in the community.
- Increase support for unpaid (family) carers, including bereaved carers. It is estimated around 40,000-50,000 carers in Scotland are bereaved, with little support currently available to them once their caring role ends, which has a detrimental impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.
- Commit to working with Scottish hospices to secure a long-term, sustainable and transparent funding solution for the charitable hospice sector, which supports over 22,400 people each year.
Hospice UK’s Policy and Advocacy Manager Scotland, Helen Malo, said: “Every person in Scotland deserves to have the care they need at the end of life, and know that their loved ones will be supported throughout this time and into bereavement.
This is why we are calling on all political parties to make palliative care and bereavement support a priority ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections so that we support people to live as fully and as well as they can to the end of their lives, however long that may be.
To find out more, visit www.hospiceuk.org/scottish-manifesto-2021
For more information contact Melanie Hargreaves on 020 7520 8257 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospice UK is the national charity working for those experiencing dying, death and bereavement. We work for the benefit of people affected by death and dying, collaborating with our hospice members and other partners who work in end of life care. Our hospice members influence and guide our work to put people at the centre of all we do.
We believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.