We are proud to be one of the supporting organisations behind the Coalition of Frontline Care for People Nearing the end of Life. Together with the core coalition members, Gold Standards Framework, British Geriatrics Society and Care England, we believe that everyone deserves gold standard care at the end of their life.
Our mission is clear: To transform end of life care in the UK.
In an open letter addressed to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay MP, and Social Care Minister, Helen Whately MP, we are calling on the government to tackle the shortcomings in how older people are cared for during their final years.
We believe that the frontline workforce, who provide hands-on care to those in their final years, should be well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide proactive, personalized, coordinated, and system-focused care.
Why is this so crucial? The current system is failing vulnerable older people in their final years, and as our population ages, this situation will only worsen. Patterns of dying are evolving, with age-related conditions such as dementia becoming a leading cause of death. We must adapt our healthcare systems to meet these changing needs.
Research shows that most people prefer to die at home or in a care home, yet almost half die in the hospital. Without proper training and support for our frontline health and care professionals, we risk seeing further increases in emergency admissions and hospital deaths, which is not what we or the public want.
By investing in EOLC training, we can make a substantial difference. Approximately one-third of the NHS budget is currently spent on people in the last year of their lives. With minimal investment, we can reduce avoidable hospitalizations, cut waiting times, and honour people’s preferences to die at home.
The ageing population is driving a 25% projected increase in UK deaths over the next two decades, and we must be prepared. At any given time, about 30% of hospital patients and roughly 80% of care home residents are in their final year of life, requiring substantial levels of hands-on care. Yet, there is currently insufficient investment in preventative, system-based training for those caring for them.
This is why we are calling for enhanced training in EOLC for all frontline generalist staff in health and social care. It’s an essential step to reduce suffering for older people in their final years.
We are heartened to see widespread public support for these proposals, with two-thirds of people (67%) agreeing that the Government should provide more resources and training for end of life care as a national priority.
The time for change is now. Together with the Coalition of Frontline Care for People Nearing the End of Life for People Nearing the End of Life, we can bring about a step-change in care. Let’s ensure that everyone receives the gold standard care they need and deserve in their final years.
You can access the full text of the open letter here: www.goldstandardsframework.org.uk/coalition-of-frontline-care