The UK based charity, Together for Short Lives reports on their website that the Northern Ireland Department of Health has published a new 10-year strategy for palliative and end of life care for children and young people entitled Providing high quality palliative care for our children: a strategy for children’s palliative and end-of-life care 2016-26.
The strategy recommends a series of actions to enhance the existing care and support available for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families. To achieve this, the strategy contains 23 clear objectives that must be realised to transform children’s palliative care in Northern Ireland. A ‘New Care Model’ set out in the strategy identifies that the child, their family and carer must be at the centre of their care and that their care plan should be based on a holistic assessment of the child’s needs.
The new strategy follows a public consultation in 2014, to which Together for Short Lives submitted evidence. Regarding the strategy, Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:
“The strategy rightly recognises that children’s palliative care is an active approach to care which begins when a child’s needs are diagnosed or recognised and continues through their life, death and beyond. I am also pleased that the Northern Ireland Department of Health has recognised the needs of the whole family and has included bereavement care for those who are affected when a child dies. The challenge now for all those who plan, fund and provide children’s palliative care in Northern Ireland is to make sure that the new strategy transforms lives. I make an open offer to support all of them in their work to implement the strategy and to bring about the best quality of life and death for children with life-limiting conditions.”