More training needed in end of life care

Palliative care should become a core part of training for all health professionals, a report by Help the Hospices has recommended

The national hospices charity has made a number of suggestions to help shape the DoH's end of life care strategy for adults in England.

It says that educators should ensure that palliative care is a core part of undergraduate and postgraduate training for all health professionals with placements in palliative care environments.

The charity also says that commissioning of palliative and end of life care must be improved to better meet patients' needs. The report recommends that funding for end of life care is ring fenced, and that health and social care services should be commissioned jointly. It also says that PCTs should provide longer-term contracts to service providers.

As well as 24-hour telephone advice services and round the clock availability of district nursing, the report calls for quality standards to be set and enforced in every care setting. It also calls for earlier access to palliative care for people with life-threatening conditions.

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