Good palliative care not inclusive of all patient groups

Certain patient groups experience lower quality end of their life care than others because providers and commissioners do not always understand their specific needs, a report by the CQC has found.

The report, A different ending: Addressing inequalities in end of life care, identified cases where people did not receive the best care possible, due to a lack of consideration about their beliefs and culture. According to the report, patients from groups such as the homeless, those with mental health conditions or learning disabilities, and black and minority ethnic, have specific needs at the end of life, which were not always taken into account by care providers.

‘A person’s diagnosis, age, ethnic background or social circumstances should not affect the quality of care they receive at any point, but certainly not at the end of their lives,’ said Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the CQC. ‘What is important is that everyone receives care based on their individual needs, delivered with compassion and sensitivity by staff with the right skills, and that there is regular and effective communication between staff and the dying person and their family.’