Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, has announced the seven adult and one children’s consortium pilot sites which will collect vital data to help the Government develop a fairer funding system for palliative care in England.
The adult pilots comprise of a partnership with all the key providers of palliative care in an area. The seven that have been selected to help with this essential work are being led by:
- NHS North Yorkshire and York
- St Christopher’s Hospice, London
- University of Sheffield
- University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
- The Heart of Kent Hospice
- Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust
The seven selected adult sites involve a total of 54 organisations, including hospitals, voluntary sector providers, Primary Care Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities, nursing home providers, community health trusts, a university and a health and social care partnership trust.
They cover a combined population of around 5.4 million people, distributed across six different regions in England: Yorkshire and the Humber, London, South Central, South East Coast, South West and the West Midlands, representing a true spectrum of palliative care provision.
The pilot for children’s palliative care services is a consortium being led by the following organisations:
- East of England Child Health and Wellbeing Team
- West Midlands Paediatric Palliative Care Network
- Great Ormond Street Hospital, London
- Northwest Children and Young Peoples Palliative Care Network
The children’s pilot involves 39 organisations, including hospitals, voluntary sector providers, PCTs, community health trusts, universities and children’s palliative care networks.
The pilot sites, which will receive Government funding support, will collect essential cost and activity data over a two-year period beginning from April 2012. This work will be overseen by the Palliative Care Funding Working Group.
The Government recognises that it is important that people approaching the end of life, their families and carers get the right care and support where and when they need it.
In the past, Government funding for palliative care services has often been poorly distributed and varies greatly across the country. The Government is committed to introducing a per-patient funding system that will ensure all qualified providers of palliative care, whether they be statutory, voluntary or independent, are fairly funded.
Ministers decided to set up the Palliative Care Funding pilot sites following a recommendation from the independent Palliative Care Funding Review. The review, chaired by Tom Hughes-Hallett, Chief Executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, reported in July 2011 and made a number of proposals on how to make sure that the funding of hospices and other palliative care providers, for both adult and children’s services, is fair and transparent. The report recommended that pilots be set up to collect information and refine its proposals due to the lack of good quality data currently available.
Ministers accepted this recommendation and a call for expressions of interest in being a pilot site was issued in November 2011.
Sixty five submissions, 56 covering adult services and 9 covering just children, representing the involvement of over 220 different organisations from across the NHS, private and voluntary sector working in collaboration, were received. Bids were considered against a set of criteria by the Palliative Care Funding Working Group, which then made recommendations to Ministers. The Working Group is chaired by Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care (full membership below).
Palliative Care Funding Working Group:
- Professor Sir Mike Richards (chair) - National Clinical Director for End of Life Care
- Dr Teresa Tate - Deputy National Clinical Director for End of Life Care, DH
- Tom Hughes-Hallett - Chair, National End of Life Care Strategy Implementation Advisory Board
- Professor Sir Alan Craft - Paediatric expert
- Dr Fliss Murtagh - Consultant and Clinical Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care, King’s College, London
- Catherine Davies (secretariat) - Programme Lead PCF Pilots, DH
- Martin Campbell - Deputy Director, NHS Finance, Payment by Results Development, DH
- Karen Turner - Deputy Director, Children, Families and Maternity, DH
- Sally Warren - Deputy Director, Social Care Strategic Policy and Finance, DH_ _