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The Access to Palliative Care Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Crossbench). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 1 June 2015 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 23 October 2015.

The Bill seeks to make provision for equitable access to palliative care services, and for advancing education, training and research in palliative care. The provisions would extend to England only. If enacted, the Bill would:

• Require clinical commissioning groups to ensure that health and social care providers deliver appropriate support to people with palliative care needs, such as access to pain and symptom control.
• Require clinical commissioning groups to ensure that specialist palliative care services were available to people with palliative care needs, and to co-operate with commissioners and health and social care providers to deliver specialist services in an integrated manner.
• Compel Health Education England to ensure that health and social care providers train all employees working as a healthcare professional in palliative care; and would require that the importance of pain control and palliative care is appropriately included in training for individuals who are working or are anticipated to work in health or social care.
• Ensure that specialist palliative care teams have the ability to participate in relevant research to advance innovations, and require all employees to be aware of new methods in palliative care.
• Place a responsibility on the Care Quality Commission to evaluate the provision of palliative care when it conducts an inspection of a service provider.

Baroness Finlay has stated that the Bill marks the start of a “comprehensive discussion” on end of life care which she has argued is “long overdue”.


Documents to download

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