More people are accessing appropriate end of life care in Wales, according to a report published today by the Welsh Government.

First published:
20 December 2017
Last updated:

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The report details the achievements made against the End of Life Care Delivery Plan and the Welsh Government’s continued commitment to improving the services for those who need it in Wales. 

Healthcare professionals have received training on guidance to implement the care decisions of patients, and utilising advance care plans to support people to die in their preferred place. This has helped to increase of the number of people registered on the palliative care register, which has increased by 69% since 2011-12.

As a result, more people are able to die in the place of their choice – either at home, or in a care home, reducing the number of people who have died in hospital from 60% to 55% since 2010.

This has resulted in a range of associated benefits to those needing palliative care, including fewer inappropriate and unwanted medical treatments and hospital admission in the last weeks, days and hours of life, and allowing patients to remain in a familiar environment and be close to family and friends.

Palliative care services for children and young people have also improved, with access to care available 24/7 following improvements made to the workforce available. An interim arrangement is now in place, meaning that clinicians across Wales have access to out of hours specialist paediatric palliative medicine advice from three specialist consultants.

The Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said;

“As a result of advances in modern medicine, more people are living longer with terminal illnesses. It is therefore vital that healthcare professionals continue to discuss patients’ and their loved ones’ needs. This will ensure effective systems are in place to allow more people to receive care and to die in their preferred place.

“The quality of care provided to a dying patient has a lasting effect on families and carers. I’m proud that this report highlights the work healthcare professionals are doing in Wales to help people in their final months, weeks or days.”

Director of Policy at Marie Curie, Simon Jones said;

“The continued focus on improving and investing in the care and support people in Wales get at the end of their lives is something that we should all be rightly proud of. Wales remains the only nation in the United Kingdom with a plan which focusses on delivery of services and then reports on progress against that plan.

“We welcomed the refresh of the delivery plan earlier this year that included an emphasis on ensuring that everyone has access to quality care regardless of who they are or where they live.”