Patients to get greater say in end-of-life care
Patients in Scotland are to get a greater say in how they are treated at the end of their life, according to a new palliative care framework published by the Scottish Government.
The five-year plan, produced in consultation with professionals and charities, also says families and communities must be more involved in helping people “die well”, including having more open conversations about death and dying.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said the aim of the new framework was for palliative care – which starts as soon as someone is considered terminally ill – to be better tailored to an individual’s symptoms and circumstances.
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“Many people will have gone through the extremely sad process of looking after a loved one towards the end of their lives. This will always be a difficult experience, but our health and social care services have a crucial role to play in making it as dignified as possible, and ensuring that the patient’s wishes and needs are taken into account,” she said.
The framework follows a report for the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee in September which suggested more than 10,000 Scots die every year without receiving any specialist end-of-life care.
The author Professor David Clark of the University of Glasgow was consulted for the new publication.
“I am confident it will lead to widespread improvement in one of the most challenging issues of the day – how we care for people at the end of life,” he said.
Charities Marie Curie and Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) both welcomed the publication.