Launched this week, the three new action sheets included in the toolkit are:
- Action Sheet 4: Health & Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) – HWBs are new statutory committees of every upper-tier Local Authority in England, designed to improve integration between health, social care and public health. HWBs come into force from April 2013 and present a key opportunity to achieve a more joined up, systems-approach to supporting people approaching the end of life.
- Action Sheet 5: Hospices & specialist palliative care (SPC) services – continue to be key players in both providing and championing high-quality palliative and end of life care. SPC providers are urged to make contacts with the new local decision-makers and consider new ways of working to deliver wider objectives, for example reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.
- Action Sheet 6: Housing & care providers – People’s living arrangements are integral to their wellbeing and as such housing and care providers play a key, but often overlooked, role in supporting people approaching the end of life.
The hospices and SPC services section was produced in collaboration with Help the Hospices and Sue Ryder.
Jonathan Ellis, director of public policy and parliamentary affairs at Help the Hospices, said: “With decisions about healthcare now being made at a local level, local hospices have a vital role to play in helping commissioners make sure the needs of people approaching the end of life and their families are not forgotten.
“As one of the best examples of integrated palliative and end of life care within our care system, hospices are well-placed to help commissioners in every aspect of planning and delivering care for dying people and their families.
“This toolkit is a valuable resource to help hospices and commissioners work together to get it right for people at the end of life, during a period of unprecedented change in our health and social care system.”