Palliative care services to get £25 million cash boost

A recent article was published on the Home Care Insight website about Palliative care.

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We have to agree with Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, any additional funding coming into health and social care is always welcome.

The issue, is as it has been for over a decade, in that many Local Authority commissioners cannot seem to commission packages of care effectively. Rather than commission with registered providers with recognised skills, competencies and staff capacity, many Local Authorities (LA’s) still commission this important aspect of care on the basis of which provider from an approved list or framework has current capacity. The net result is something of a pan country lottery in palliative and end of life care.

As the prime Minister states ‘the new investment will support the palliative care sector in relieving workforce pressures, as well as introducing new services – such as out-of-hours support, respite care and specialist community teams.’. Will it?

£25 million, assuming that it’s a one off funding event, split across some 343 LA’s in England works out at around £73,000 for each LA. So, what does the Prime Minister expect the sector to do with £73,000 when the NHS, CCG’s, LA’s and existing community services will all need a share of that money? And so how does he expect the sector to create ‘new services’ on that basis?

No doubt the Prime Minister’s reputation will be enhanced at this investment. But is it really an investment?

I know from my own professional experience that it takes a long time to achieve a formal palliative and end of life accreditation as in my case the Six Steps End of Life programme, or others such as the Gold Standards Framework. As a result of gaining such a professional accreditation, numerous clients and their families have received the highest level of respectful and dignified care available.