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A toolkit for health and social care professionals
16 October 2012 - National End of Life Care Programme
End of life care provides particular challenges, not only because of the special needs of many at the end of life but also because of the need to coordinate and integrate a wide range of services across different sectors.
But the rewards for getting it right are huge. Personalised, integrated care at the end of life can transform that experience for the individual, their family, and the staff caring for them.
To help achieve a 'good death'" for all, the NEoLCP and its partners have produced a short interactive guide to commissioning person-centred end of life care, which is being launched at today's conference.
The guide identifies the main elements involved in commissioning end of life care services, explains the commissioning cycle in practical terms and offers a four-stage approach across all sectors.
It provides a wide range of links to tools and sources of support for both commissioners and providers
of services. It also showcases good practice and seeks to indicate what a well-commissioned end of life care service looks like.
The four stages, based on the Royal College of GP's Guidance for commissioning integrated and urgent emergency care: a whole systems approach are:
1. Analyse and plan
This involves understanding the local population's needs and identifying who is likely to be in their last year of life.
The section includes advice on how to identify gaps in existing knowledge and services, agree outcomes and ensure the views of users are taken into account.
2. Design pathways
Because of its complexity end of life care needs to be commissioned from a pathway approach, taking into account differing disease trajectories.
This section provides pointers to the six-step End of Life Care Pathway, as well as highlighting management of transitions and co-ordination between pathways including mental health, dementia care, children and young adults, long-term conditions and carers.
3. Specify and procure
Commissioners need to ask themselves what a good, integrated end of life care service should look like and then seek to establish systems to ensure this is achieved.
This stage points people to local and national benchmarks of good practice and explains the processes involved in service redesign.
4. Deliver and improve
This section focuses on delivering and improving services. It covers managing demand, including the critical role of Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS), measuring performance, setting key performance indicators and monitoring population needs, including the targeting of hard to reach groups.
Publication by the National End of Life Programme which became part of NHS Improving Quality in May 2013