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Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
7 October 2022
Last updated:

Today, I am publishing the quality statement for palliative and end of life care, which sets out the Welsh Government’s future vision for palliative and end of life care delivered in Wales.

A Healthier Wales committed to the development of a National Clinical Plan. It was intended to set out how specialist services and hospital-based services should be provided, and the skills and technologies needed to support them, as part of the broader health and social care offer. In its development is has been reframed as a National Clinical Framework and broadened to cover all clinical services, whether specialist or generalist.

The National Clinical Framework is underpinned by a suite of new commitments outlined in ‘Quality Statements’, another commitment made in A Healthier Wales. Quality Statements describe the medium-term vision for these clinical services and the specific quality attributes that we wish to achieve. These policy and planning expectations are supported by more detailed clinical pathways and service specifications that have significant implications for NHS delivery.

The quality statement for palliative and end of life care has been co-produced with a range of statutory and voluntary partners. It has been subject to consultation with policy leads, the End of Life Care Board, Hospices, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and external stakeholders from across the public and third sectors. The statement describes the quality attributes of palliative and end of life care services in Wales that we would expect to see through a safe, timely, effective, person centred, efficient and equitable focus. 

A large and growing proportion of people, including children will have a life-shortening illness for a period of time when care needs are intensive. Good palliative care can make a huge difference to the quality of life for people and those who care for them, helping them to live as well as possible and to die with dignity. The Quality Statement will help to achieve this, by ensuring a much broader focus across the spectrum of health and social care and third-sector provision rather than on specialist palliative care alone.

The Quality Statement will form the basis of a quality assurance cycle for palliative and end of life care to support local improvement in the quality of services and address unwarranted variations in care.

Following publication, Health Boards and Trusts will be supported to deliver improved end of life services by the NHS Executive. This will be discharged through the National Programme Board for End of Life Care, and in collaboration with other Networks and Programmes such as dementia, cardiovascular, neurological, diabetes and cancer.

The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that anyone requiring palliative and end of life care in Wales should have access to the best possible care and we are making good progress on our Programme for Government commitments to review hospice funding and to strengthen the focus on end of life care.  I look forward to working with all our partners in the months and years ahead to deliver on these Programme for Government priorities and on the important commitments set out in this quality statement.

The Quality Statement for palliative and end of life care can be accessed here: