- Palliative Care in NI
- Information & Services
What policies are there to support Palliative Care in Northern Ireland?
“A Healthier Future” Regional Strategy (DHSSPS, 2004) and “Caring for People Beyond Tomorrow”Primary Care Strategic Framework (DHSSPS, 2005) set out the Department’s overarching commitment to the development of responsive and integrated health and social care services which aim to reduce dependence on hospitals and instead provide care to patients and clients in their own communities.
The following policies and guidelines have also contributed to the development of palliative and end of life care services in Northern Ireland:
(DHSSPS, 1996) made a number of recommendations including the need for a Regional Review of Palliative Care Services;
“Partnerships in Caring – Standards for Service” (DHSSPS, 2000) was developed in conjunction with key public and voluntary organisations and made a number of wide ranging recommendations for the development of palliative care services. This report was instrumental in promoting improvements in cancer and palliative care services, including highlighting the need for partnership between patients, families, carers and those providing health and social care services;
“Best Practice Best Care” (DHSSPS, 2001) described how the quality of services could improve and recommended that everyone involved in health and social care should recognise the need to deliver high quality services;
“Valuing Carers” (DHSSPS, 2002), and “Caring for Carers” (DHSSPS, 2006) provided strategic direction for the provision of support services for carers;
“A Strategic Framework for Respiratory Conditions” (DHSSPS, 2006) highlighted the importance of adopting a whole systems approach to the prevention and treatment of respiratory disease and made a series of recommendations as to how services for respiratory patients might be developed;
“Improving the Patient and Client Experience” (DHSSPS, 2008) set out five standards, developed by the Department’s Chief Nursing Officer in collaboration with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC), which stipulate what the public should expect from staff in the health service in relation to respect, attitude, behaviour, communication and privacy and dignity;
An “Integrated Care Pathway for Children with Complex Physical Health Care Needs” (DHSSPS, 2009) provided guidance in meeting the needs of children and young people up to 18 years of age who have complex physical health and social care needs. It also recognised the needs of their families and carers;
“The Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Services Strategy for Bereavement Care” (DHSSPS, 2009) aimed to promote an integrated, consistent approach to all aspects of care across public health and social care services in support of people who have been bereaved. It provided valuable information and guidance aimed at improving the knowledge and competence of health and social care providers in caring for those who have been bereaved.
In addition, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published a series of guidance documents on palliative care and chronic conditions. These include:
“Chronic Heart Failure; Management of Chronic Heart Failure in Adults in Primary and Secondary Care” (NICE 2003);
“Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Adults in Primary and Secondary Care” (NICE 2004);
“Dementia; NICE-SCIE Guideline on Supporting People with Dementia and their Carers in Health and Social Care” (NICE 2007).
NHS Modernisation Agency published the “Supportive and Palliative Care for Advanced Heart Failure, Coronary Heart Disease Collaborative” to complement the 2003 NICE guidance on the management of chronic heart failure.
Work is ongoing on the development of a series of Service Frameworks for Health and Well-being in Northern Ireland. Each of these frameworks will contain explicit standards reflecting the care and support which patients, clients, their carers and family should expect to receive and promote particular areas of performance improvement for health and social care organisations. For further information Click here to access on line: