Independent review of palliative care services published
Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) acting as lead commissioner has now received the independent review of palliative care services by independent chair Penny Hansford on behalf of Hammersmith & Fulham and West London CCGs. The strategic review was launched to consider recommendations for an improved commissioning model, to deliver high quality services for patients, families and carers across the three boroughs.
The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the current local service provision, a review of best practice and makes a number of recommendations for commissioners to consider for the future model of service.
Neville Purssell, Chair of Central London CCG says,
“We are pleased to see that once in contact with palliative care services, patients and families report high levels of satisfaction. We welcome the opportunity as commissioners to address the challenges highlighted in the report and ensure that our services work for all of our patients.
We will work together with our local stakeholders, partners, patients, families and carers to consider the opportunities for improvement highlighted by the review. We would like to thank Penny for the work she has done to bring this information together and provide such a comprehensive review of palliative care in our area”.
Penny Hansford of PJH4 consultancy was appointed to the role due to her extensive experience in this specialist area, having held the position of Director of Nursing at St Christopher’s Hospice in South London for eighteen years. During this time she led many new innovations and changes in service model to reflect the changing demography of dying.
The review involved ‘a call for evidence’ which was launched to enable patients, carers and families, as well as frontline staff to submit views on what worked well and what could be improved. This process ensured the patient’s voice was heard and their experience of palliative care services will continue to underpin this work.
Findings and future options
Reviewing the current services offered to patients across these areas, the report identifies the following three overarching challenges to be addressed:
- inequity of specialist palliative care services in the three boroughs
- inequity of access to the services, with only 48% of people who have an expected death having any contact with community palliative care services; and
- inequity of funding arrangements for the services from the CCGs.
The review states three options in order to address these challenges whilst providing a sustainable local system, which ensures all patients receive care in their preferred place at the right time:
- Option one (recommended option)
Tender a new community service with one lead provider for the specialist palliative care services, to provide an 8am-8pm co-ordination/case management centre. Out-patient, rehabilitation and well-being services should be easily accessible to patients and be located within the boroughs
- Option two
Tender a new service and rationalise and reduce the number of specialist providers to two, with the same service specification and contracts and
- Option three
Tender the services based on one community service per borough with the same service specification with one co-ordination centre/case management centre per borough.
Read the review in full here.
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