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"Palliative care services in Wales are making an enormous difference to people’s quality of life" - Mark Drakeford

Families and patients rated palliative care services in Wales overwhelmingly positive, a new report published yesterday shows.

The average feedback score for specialist palliative care services, according to the results of the iWantGreatCare survey was 9.56 out of 10. These results are contained in the end-of-life care annual report – the first report of its kind to give a comprehensive overview of palliative care services in Wales.

Some 32,000 people die in Wales every year, largely following a chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic respiratory disease, neurological disease or dementia. Three-quarters of people have some form of palliative care at the end of their life.

The Welsh Government’s aim for end-of-life and palliative care services is that people in Wales should have a healthy, realistic approach to dying, planning appropriately for the event. People who are dying in Wales should have access to high-quality care wherever they live and die, whatever their underlying disease or disability.

Palliative and end-of-life care has improved significantly since 2008, when the Welsh Government invested in specialist palliative care services, with more than £6.4m of funding to hospitals and hospices in Wales during 2012-13.

The end-of-life care annual report shows:

  • 80% of urgent specialist palliative care referrals were assessed within the agreed timescale;
  • 94% of the responses to the iWantGreatCare evaluation of experiences of specialist palliative care were positive. The average Welsh score was 9.56 out of 10.

Speaking at Ty Gobaith hospice, in Conwy, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Feedback from patients and their families about specialist palliative care in Wales has shown these services make an enormous difference to people’s quality of life.

“People should have access to high-quality care wherever they live or choose to die; whatever their underlying disease or disability. The contribution hospices in Wales make is an essential component towards achievingexcellence in care.

“This annual report highlights the progress being made across Wales and identifies areas for future improvement. It also shows how health boards are working to improve end-of-life care.”

Simon Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Wales at Marie Curie added:

"Marie Curie welcomes this important assessment of palliative and end of life care services.  

“The Welsh Government’s Delivery Plan recognised the need for continual improvement and this report will help in achieving this.  

“It is crucial that progress in this area continues so everyone with end of life care needs is able to access and benefit from these services, regardless of where they live or their underlying condition."

Related Links

End of life care delivery plan
Channel website: http://gov.wales

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