Hospice UK says Welsh leaders have responsibility to ensure people in Wales have sufficient, dignified care at the end of life as it launches its 2021 manifesto priorities

Mar 01, 2021

Hospice UK has launched its 2021 Senedd election manifesto priorities, calling for politicians to take action to ensure people in Wales living with a terminal or life-shortening condition, and their carers, receive the support they need, as it is revealed of the 170,000 to die during the next Senedd, approximately 80 per cent will benefit from palliative and end of life care. Current estimates suggests as many as one in four Welsh people are missing out on the right care at the end of life.

Among its asks, the charity urges all political parties to:

  • Reach every child and adult with palliative care needs in Wales by tackling the inequalities that lead to people missing out on vital care and by widening access to it in the community.This includes enabling access to children and their families across Wales to be cared for at home, and increasing the capacity of the adult and children’s community workforce skilled in palliative care
  • Plan to meet increased need for end of life care into the future, with better understanding of where people die, to support essential resource allocation and service development where there is increased need of palliative and end of life care, such as in care homes and people’s own homes.This also means encouraging individuals across Wales to plan for their death by promoting open conversations about death, dying and bereavement.
  • Resource a sustainable palliative and end of life care sector.As demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fragility of funding for essential palliative and end of life care providers, such as charitable hospices and care homes, threatens their ability to continue when the care they provide is most in need and under pressure.With the services they provide supporting and underpinning the NHS, more must be done to resource the hospice sector to meet the palliative care needs of children and adults across Wales.
  • Build capacity and resilience in communities to care for people at the end of life and to support bereaved families through the lasting impact of COVID-19, to uphold Wales’ ambition of becoming the first Compassionate Country.

Hospice UK’s Policy and Advocacy Manager Wales, Catrin Edwards, said: “COVID-19 has taught us the value, and significance, of dignified care at the end of life, and of the importance of bereavement support for those people left behind.

“With mounting evidence that people from deprived and racialized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, we’re concerned that the existing inequalities in accessing hospice and palliative care will have been exacerbated during the pandemic. 

“We only have one chance to get it right for people at the end of life. That’s why Hospice UK is calling on all political parties to commit to reach everyone in Wales with a palliative care need during the next Senedd term.”

ENDS

To find out more, visit https://www.hospiceuk.org/senedd-manifesto-2021 (full) or https://www.hospiceuk.org/senedd-manifesto-2021-concise (concise)

For more information contact Melanie Hargreaves on 020 7520 8257 or m.hargreaves@hospiceuk.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.

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