Throughout the pandemic, the palliative and end-of-life care sector has stepped up to support the NHS with life-saving care as the number of occupied beds in intensive care units up and down the country has dramatically increases. As people stayed at home fearing exposure to the virus, the number of excessive deaths at home also increased. Nurses and hospice practitioners were there to provide essential support, ranging from end-of-life support in their own homes with pain relief and symptom control, to emotional and bereavement support for families and families. relatives.

We have seen the palliative care sector play a pivotal role in the country’s response alongside the NHS, a partnership that we hope will continue long into the future.

Yet when the government announced it was going to give NHS workers in England a 3% pay rise, it was evident that the almshouses had been forgotten by those in Westminster.

While we are grateful for additional government support at the height of the pandemic, with funds given to the sector to purchase essential capacity for the NHS, that money has now run out, with hospices across the country now back. on charitable donations to continue. These donations are used to pay the salaries of clinical and front-line staff who provide essential care to people at the end of their life. It often surprises people to learn that these staff are not employed by the NHS.

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We believe that all staff who care for people at the end of their life deserve to be properly rewarded for their hard work, dedication and skills.

And it’s no different for nurses, orderlies and other brilliant staff in the charity-funded hospice industry.

Charity-funded hospices in England now face a huge struggle to match the NHS pay rise as they compete to recruit and retain the same staff. Right now that extra salary – which could reach £ 25million a year – will have to be covered by the sale of second-hand clothes and by generous people who run marathons and sell cakes. This wouldn’t happen in maternity wards when people are born, so why would it happen when people die? We don’t think that’s acceptable.

The government speaks in its reforms of an integrated health and care system. To achieve this, it is essential that emerging SCIs and the workforce plans they develop take a holistic systems approach.

On the payment side, that means providing funds to hospices and other non-NHS providers to match the 3% increase.

More than a year after the emergence of covid, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unique contribution of palliative care and its key role within the broader health and social care system in responding and adapt to the challenges ahead. This means treating the palliative care sector as an equal in the health and care system, recognizing the vital role they play and adequately rewarding its staff.

By working together, we can provide integrated health services – especially at the community level – to ensure that no one misses life-saving end-of-life care.

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