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Senedd Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Hospice and Palliative Care during the pandemic published

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 Last month the CPG published its inquiry report into experiences of palliative and end of life care in the community during the pandemic. The inquiry sought to give people and organisations at the very sharp end of the pandemic a voice and a platform, to learn from their experiences of end of life care at home and in care homes so Wales is better prepared for any future disaster and better placed to meet the ongoing impacts of Covid and the cost of living crisis. This is more important than ever before, considering demand for palliative care in the community is forecast to nearly double by 2040 and the pandemic has given us a glimpse into how our health and social care system will cope under similar pressures in the not so distant future.

With that in mind, the CPG are pleased to share some of the overarching findings from the inquiry:

–        Hospice and palliative care played a critical role in the pandemic response and was supported by a wave of community engagement and action. However, the massive increases in demand for care in the community revealed weaknesses in pre-pandemic planning.

–        Many people faced difficulties accessing end of life care at home and in care homes, increasing existing inequalities in palliative care and leading to some devastating experiences, including complex bereavement.

–        Health and social care workers went above and beyond to support patients and their families at end of life, facilitating a revolution in collaboration, innovation and creative working across primary, secondary and social care.

The CPG will work together with partners to learn from these experiences and take forward the following key recommendations:

–        Learn from the pandemic and build on good practice by ensuring palliative care is at the heart of plans for potential future pandemics; developing an electronic patient record with advance and future care preferences; nurturing innovation; and making sure the experiences of people and service providers in Wales are fully included in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.


–        Pivot capacity into the community by prioritising the development of palliative care capacity in the community and upscaling existing good practice; ensuring the new quality statement for palliative and end of life care is supported by a detailed implementation plan and its values are hardwired into the development of a new National Care Service.


–        Make palliative and end of life care everybody’s business by supporting greater death literacy within communities; investing in hospices as experiential learning sites; addressing inequalities; and ensuring that workforce strategies prioritise the wellbeing, staffing, education and training needs of those working across the full spectrum of palliative and end of life care.

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