Responding to today’s publication of A different ending: End of life care review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Usha Grieve, Director of Partnerships & Information, from Compassion in Dying said:

“It is unacceptable for people to experience poor quality care at the end of their lives. Every individual should get the end-of-life care that is right for them regardless of their age, ethnicity, religion, diagnosis, gender or sexuality. More must be done to address the variation in care that the CQC has identified.

“The evidence of variable understanding of the Mental Capacity Act amongst health professionals is particularly worrying. Everybody approaching the end of their lives should be aware of their legal right to plan ahead for their treatment and care. Health professionals must have the skills and knowledge to discuss end-of-life preferences and choices in a timely and appropriate manner.

“As the CQC’s examples of good practice show, engaging people in planning for the end of life not only improves their experience of care, but also delivers benefits for the wider healthcare system, including a reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions and a greater number of people dying in their preferred place of death.

“We call upon all commissioners and providers to act on the CQC’s recommendations. Recently there have been several reports showing that end-of-life care needs urgent improvement and sadly little seems to change. The Government must publish its response to the Choice Review without delay, to demonstrate its intent to improve end-of-life care for all in this country.”

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Compassion in Dying
Compassion in Dying is a national charity (no. 1120203) that aims to support people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their legal rights and choices. We are a leading provider of free Advance Decisions in the UK and we also conduct and review research around patient rights and choices in end-of-life care.

Compassion in Dying provides CPD accredited training to equip health and social care professionals and community organisations with an understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and planning in advance for future care, the skills to support people to complete planning ahead tools, and the confidence to implement them when caring for someone who lacks capacity.

Compassion in Dying is the sister organisation of Dignity in Dying and was set up to help people exercise their rights and choices under the current law. The charity does not campaign for a change in the law on assisted dying.