National Voices and the National Council for Palliative Care, in partnership with NHS England and other organisations, have launched a narrative describing what person centred care means from the point of view of someone approaching the end of their life. The narrative is the centrepiece for NHS England’s Actions for End of Life Care.
The narrative recognises that everyone’s experience is unique and reminds professionals and volunteers to think and respond in a way that is and fells honest and personal to the person in front of them. It also helps service providers and commissioners to look at the service they are entrusted to deliver through the eyes of the person who needs that care.
The starting point for the narrative is the over-arching statement ‘I can make the last stage of my life as good as possible because everyone works together confidently, honestly and consistently to help me and the people who are important to me, including my carer(s).’ It then translates what this means for how services are provided into a series of further statements covering:
- My goals and quality of life and death
- The people who are important to me
- Honest discussion and planning
- My physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs
- Responsive and timely support
It draws on surveys, the testimonies of bereaved carers, the experience of end of life care charities and the reflections of professionals that highlighted failures in coordinating and personalising the different elements of end of life care.