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New Ambitions Raise the Bar for End of Life Care

National framework for action urges local leadership to be at forefront of improvement in end of life care.

The National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, made up of statutory bodies including NHS England, the Association of Adult Social Services, charities and groups representing patients and professionals has developed a framework for action in making palliative and end of life care a priority at local level.

Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2015-2020, is aimed at local health and social care and community leaders. It builds on the Department of Health’s 2008 Strategy for End of Life Care and responds to an increased emphasis on local decision making in the delivery of palliative and end of life care services since the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

This national framework for action sets out six ‘ambitions’ – principles for how care for those nearing death should be delivered at local level

  1. Each person is seen as an individual
  2. Each person gets fair access to care
  3. Maximising comfort and wellbeing
  4. Care is coordinated
  5. All staff are prepared to care
  6. Each community is prepared to help

The framework identifies measures such as personalised care planning and shared electronic records that are needed to realise each of the six ambitions, and calls on Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards to designate a lead organisation on palliative and end of life care and to work collaboratively to bring people together to publish local action plans based on population based needs assessments.

Prof Bee Wee, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care, NHS England said: “This framework represents a shared vision for the quality of care that people should expect to receive towards the end of their lives, and a shared commitment to help local decision makers, service providers and people to improve the services in their area."

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care said: “Just as it’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes communities working together to ensure that people who are dying receive the care and support that is right for them. That’s why we welcome the ambitions set out in this document and the commitment to partnership working that runs throughout it. We very much hope this leads to strong and sustained national and local leadership and action, so that end of life care is made universally available for everyone, wherever they live, whatever their diagnosis, wherever they choose to be cared for, and whenever they need it.”

For more information visit:

Healthcare Conferences UK is running:

Improving End of Life Care
Wednesday 23 September 2015 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Legal Issues in End of Life Care Masterclass
Thursday 12 November 2015 

Tuesday 12 April 2016 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Implementing the NICE Clinical Guideline on Care of the Dying Adult
Tuesday 26 January 2016 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

8 September 2015


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