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End-of-life care is everybody's business
  1. Penny Hansford
  1. Director of Nursing, St Christopher's Hospice, London, Editor in Chief, End of Life Journal
  1. Correspondence to Penny Hansford, p.hansford{at}

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The last 5 years have seen the largest number of reorganisations the NHS has ever known. Social care budgets have been cut by 20% at the same time as the demographic impact of people living longer with multiple co-morbidities is being realised (Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, 2014). Care homes are full and accident and emergency departments and hospitals are burgeoning with frail older people. Over the last few years, many reports have been published outlining what is wrong with health and social care, and important recommendations have been made in relation to how to mend broken services. These reports include:

  • The report into what went wrong at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, 2013);

  • The review on patient safety (National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England, 2013);

  • The review into healthcare assistants and support workers (Cavendish, 2013);

  • The review into the quality of care provided by 14 hospital trusts in England (Keogh, 2013);

  • The recent inquiry into NHS whistleblowing (Francis, 2015).

All these reports are informative and well put together. We now need to see their recommendations put into action without creating further bureaucratic burdens for hard-working staff. With regard to end-of-life care in particular, a straightforward set of recommendations has just been published highlighting five key themes (NHS England, 2015):

  • Working to fulfil the goals of individuals and achieve quality care in …

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