Where and how a family spend their last days together is so important. I have witnessed the benefits of delivering high quality care in the location that is right for the child. I know it is vital that we get it right, and I believe this is something that the NICE guidance can support.
As a consultant in paediatric palliative medicine, a crucial part of my work is to provide families with real choices about where and how they are cared for. The care we provide must be tailored to the individual needs of the child and their family, not only at the end of life, but throughout their illness.
This bespoke emotional and physical support demands that different professionals from different organisations and locations work together.
I am pleased to see that the NICE guidance emphasises the importance of this group-working and that it highlights the need for good communication and joint working across all of the teams involved.
It is only with these foundations in place that we can ensure care is well planned, and it is this strong coordination that enables us to give families the flexibility to move smoothly between hospital, hospice and home-based care, according to what is right for them.
It is good to see the NICE guidance recognise the benefits of honest communication between healthcare staff and the family, particularly as the child is approaching death. This open dialogue helps the child and family plan how and where they want to spend their time and enables the teams to plan their care around this.
I believe the new NICE guidance on end of life care for children has the potential to make a real, immediate and lasting difference to the lives of many of the most vulnerable patients. I look forward to seeing the final publication later this year.
There are no comments