Govt looks at funding options for end of life care

Secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley has announced a review into how end of life care is paid for.

Lansley made the announcement at the International Carers Conference in Leeds earlier today.

The review will be chaired by Marie Curie Cancer Care chief executive Tom Hughes-Hallett and will look at improving the options for how and where patients received palliative care.

It will cover both adults’ and childrens’ services and will recommend a transparent funding system that encourages more community-based care, so that patients can remain in their own homes.

Lansley says: “’Having a terminal illness is a very distressing time for individuals and their families. People should be able to choose where they are cared for – most would choose to be cared for at home, surrounded by their friends and family – and be certain that the care they receive will be of the highest quality.

“This review will look at how we better deploy the money we spend on palliative care – so those in need are better supported. We intend that whatever care patients choose will meet their needs and wishes.”

Hughes-Hallett says: “I am delighted to have been asked to lead this important review. Good quality palliative and end of life care is so vital for patients and families. We need a funding system which is fair and encourages the provision of the right services to patients and families where and when they want them. It must also be fair to the full range of providers.”

The review will report back by summer 2011 and the government says any recommendations will be considered in the context of its spending review expected in the autumn.