In July 2008, the Department of Health (DH) introduced an 'End of Life Care Strategy - Promoting high quality care for all adults at the end of life.' The strategy represents an important milestone for health and social care. It is the first comprehensive framework aimed at promoting high quality care across the country for all adults approaching the end of life. It also outlines a structure on which health and social care services can develop effective, high quality services. By supporting these underpinning principles, the Pennine Lancashire health and social care economy has developed a local End of Life Care Strategy designed to deliver a vision of high quality services developed around the needs of individuals and their families requiring End of Life Care, including support for their physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.
The strategy has been developed in partnership, and after consultation, with a wide range of stakeholders including NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (EL CCG), NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (BwD CCG), East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT), Lancashire County Council (LCC), local hospices and third sector organisations. The collective philosophy of the strategy is one of equity of access and equality of care for all residents of Pennine Lancashire. The Pennine Lancashire footprint comprises the boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley, Ribble Valley, Pendle. and Rossendale.
End of Life services will be delivered by a range of providers working collaboratively to provide services based on the patient's needs and preferences, to achieve a death that is in the place chosen by the patient. NHS East Lancashire CCG and NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG already commission different aspects of palliative health care for a growing number of its residents through existing contracts. Lancashire County Council also commissions a number of services that support the delivery of integrated palliative and End of Life Care. Services will need to be commissioned across a number of different settings; patients own home, care homes, sheltered/extra care housing, hospices or hospitals. On some occasions they will also be needed in other locations such as hostels for the homeless and independent living homes for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems.