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Second Annual Report on End-of-Life Care Shows Momentum, but Challenges Remain

Prof. Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer Care, submitted the Second Annual Report on the NHS End of Life Strategy (launched in 2008) to Care Services Minister Paul Burstow. According to the report, significant steps forward in the care of patients at the end of life include the piloting of locality registers (electronic records recording details about patients approaching end of life) to improve care coordination, and the launch of: e-learning on end-of-life care for health and social care staff; the Dying Matters Coalition, which aims to increase public awareness of issues around death and dying; and the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network. Minister Burstow acknowledged the improvements, but noted variation in progress and the need to improve end-of-life care across the entire NHS. Plans for the next year include: continued work to identify when end-of-life care should begin for people with progressive disease; enhancing locality registers; completion of foundation projects on support staff training and development; and implementation of a communications strategy.


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