A charter containing best practice guidelines for palliative and end of life care during the Covid-19 pandemic has been published, produced by Hospice UK in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the subject of death and dying to the forefront, with even greater emphasis on compassionate care than ever before.
The new charter focuses on the ethical principles of respect, minimising harm, fairness, working together, reciprocity, keeping things in proportion, flexibility, and good decision-making.
“At a time of uncertainty in terms of what we will have to face in an unprecedented pandemic situation, the charter allows us to have some constancy in how we’ll respond to the many new challenges Covid-19 will bring” explains Max Watson, Hospice UK’s Project ECHO Director who helped lead on development of the charter.
“The charter affirms the values of an inclusive society and affirms a commitment to working in a way which takes account of the many different needs that members of our society have. It is easy in a crisis situation to retreat to thinking that everyone sees things the same way as you do, and to cut corners in terms of developing responses to new challenges. The charter reminds us to think from a broader perspective and to modulate our plans and responses in an inclusive rather than an excluding manner.”
The charter includes guidelines like “people should be kept as informed as possible” and “people making decisions must be open about what decisions need to be made and who is responsible for making them.”
During this difficult time for clinicians as well as patients and their families, Max says the key aim of the guidance is “to provide a focus for different teams working across the country in primary and secondary care to have an ethical and moral compass on the wall, to help as both a set of shared values and as a framework for dealing with difficult clinical and ethical decisions.”
To read the charter visit Covid EOLC Community Charter