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Palliative Care Funding Review: Implications for Family Carers
  1. Rebecca Newman
  1. Rebecca Newman, Staff Nurse, Inpatient Unit, St Christopher’s Hospice, London. Email: r.newman{at}stchristophers.org.uk

Abstract

In the UK, widespread national variation in the funding and provision of end-of-life care services has led to an independent Palliative Care Funding Review being commissioned, the aim of which is to create a transparent funding system, with better outcomes for patients and value for the NHS. The Review’s proposed national per-patient funding model is currently being piloted. This article provides a critical analysis of the model, with a particular focus on its likely impact on family members caring for adults approaching the end of life. It outlines some of the challenges faced by family carers and discusses the importance of meeting their needs within the UK’s current social, economic and political context. It discusses how the Review’s proposals are likely to meet or neglect particular needs of family carers. It is argued that, although the Review promotes holistic care and support for family carers, there do not appear to be clear funding mechanisms for the provision of such support. As a result, variations in the provision of supportive services for family carers are likely to continue, with potentially significant policy implications. Conflicts of interest: none

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