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Palliative care currency in development

25 December 2014

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A cost for palliative care based on the needs of the patient rather than a particular procedure is being developed by NHS England.

Its latest draft of Developing a new approach to palliative care, published for discussion, aims to produce a transparent framework within which end-of-life care can be commissioned.

The document is informed by discussions with leading experts within the healthcare sector including commissioners and service providers.

Based on a two year data collection from sites covering both adults’ and children’s services, the second draft states that it aims to: “Identify and address some of the main issues raised during our consultation, to outline the areas we will investigate further prior to the February 2015 publication of final draft of the palliative care currency for piloting in 2015/16, to outline how organisations can use the currency in support of commissioning palliative care services in 2015/16; and to outline the next steps for future development, including plans to engage organisations for further data collection to validate and refine the currency in 2015/16.”

The report comes after nurses raised concerns about the quality of end of life care. In a survey of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members showed that only 10.5% of staff felt they were able to deliver the right level of care to patients. A further 58.5% said that lack of time or training meant that many patients’ wishes could not be fulfilled in the last six months of their lives.

NHS England is currently looking for feedback on the document and will be publishing their final outcomes in Feburary.