Written evidence submitted by Sue Ryder
The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced a statutory duty on Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to commission palliative and end of life care (PEoLC) services which meet the requirements of people for whom it has responsibility. The introduction of ICSs as statutory bodies, therefore, presents a significant opportunity to ensure that anyone with PEoLC needs can access and receive high quality, personalised care and support. To ensure this opportunity can be realised ICSs will need to address systemic issues such as workforce shortages, health inequalities, collaboration across providers and commissioning arrangements.
NHS England has published guidance to support ICBs with their duty to commission palliative care services. However, it is imperative that forthcoming Integrated Care Strategies and Five Year Forward Plans set out how ICSs intend to meet their new obligation.
We recognise that each ICS is at a different level of maturity. It is likely that some ICS plans /strategies will lack sufficient detail on how they will create a framework that secures integration and equity between NHS, Local Authorities, and VCSE PEoLC providers. However, without a framework/direction for PEoLC within their strategies and plans, ICSs will not be able to deliver on the new duty to deliver appropriate end of life care for their population in the most effective and efficient way.
Sue Ryder has recently collaborated with colleagues from across the PEoLC sector to publish a summary paper setting out recommendations for commissioning and delivering better end-of-life care within ICSs. This has been published on NHS England’s FutureNHS platform as a resource to support ICBs. We will continue to promote the paper as plans and strategies are developed, as well as engage with the ICSs in which we have services.
We look forward to the Committee’s findings and would welcome an additional phase to this inquiry when ICS plans and strategies are further developed.
About Sue Ryder
Sue Ryder supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. For over 65 years our doctors, nurses and carers have given people the compassion and expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.
We take the time to understand what’s important to people and give them choice and
control over their care.This might be providing care for someone at the end of their life, in our hospices or at home. Or helping someone manage their grief when they’ve lost a loved one. Or providing specialist care, rehabilitation or support to someone with a neurological condition.
We want to provide more care for more people when it really matters. We see a future where our palliative and neurological care reaches more communities; where we can help more people begin to cope with bereavement; and where everyone can access the quality of care they deserve.