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Palliative Care

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to palliative care in (a) England and (b) the West Midlands in each of the past 10 years. (80123)

The Department does not routinely collect the data requested.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible within the national health service for commissioning and funding services for their resident population, including palliative care. The NHS is currently receiving the largest sustained increase in funding in its history, but growth money is not identified for specific purposes. PCTs will be able to use these extra resources to deliver on both national and local priorities, including palliative care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the financial impact on acute trusts of doubling funding for palliative care, as set out in the Labour Party's 2005 election manifesto. (80609)

Ministers have asked the National Cancer Director, Professor Mike Richards, supported by Professor Ian Philp, National Director for Older People, to prepare a comprehensive strategy to develop and progress end of life care. The strategy will establish the means whereby the Government's manifesto commitment on palliative care and also the end of life care strategy outlined in the White Paper “Our health, our care, our say” will be delivered.

The strategy will set out in more detail the rationale for the new developments on end of life care that were heralded in “Our health, our care, our say” and provide guidance to commissioners and providers on how to bring about improvements in end of life care at a local level and will need to take account of:

funding issues for hospices and specialist palliative care issues;

the various issues around choice at the end of life;

the need to improve the quality of end of life care in hospitals and care homes; and

the need for more improved co-ordination of services across organisational boundaries.

Professor Richards has been asked to report back to Ministers in the autumn.