Stephen recently met with representatives of the end of life care and neurological charity, Sue Ryder in Parliament to discuss their campaign on providing 24/7 coordination, support and advice for dying people, their families and carers.

Millions of people will need end of life care over next five years, this can involve a complex range of services and millions more will be caring for a loved one who is dying. Most people who have end of life needs want the choice to die at home, but because of a lack of expert advice and support around the clock and difficulties in accessing the right service at the right time, many will end up unnecessarily admitted into hospital or A&E. This is not the best environment for most dying people. 

Sue Ryder’s research has shown that an overwhelming majority of people (82%) expect support and advice to be available 24 hours a day. However, Freedom of Information requests from Sue Ryder reveal that only 8 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) provide this comprehensive support 24/7. Without around the clock support, people are left isolated and fearful, not knowing which way to turn when they are faced with a distressing situation outside of normal working hours. 

Commenting on the campaign Stephen said: “The current situation is just not good enough. If people are to have real choice about where they are able to die we must make sure the right support is available, and with an ageing population and the number of deaths expected to rise we need to act now. I urge the Government to work with organisations such as Sue Ryder to encourage more commissioners to provide this essential service across the country, and ensure that more terminally ill people and their families can have a good end of life”.

To find out more about the Sue Ryder campaign you can visit www.sueryder.org/how-we-help/Policy-and-campaigns/Our-campaigns/not-9-to-5.

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AuthorStephen Timms