It was inspiring to hear from John Davies, Chief Executive of Dorothy House this week at the Monahans Breakfast Club in Chippenham. I volunteered to help for a day at Dorothy House in 2013 and learnt so much about the organisation and the commitment and dedication of their volunteers.
If elected I will fight for more support for Dorothy House as well as a recognition of their excellent work. I spoke with John at great length about their work and the need for government and local MPs to work with them, recognise their skills and let them get on with it. I believe that when something works there is no need to fix it!
I strongly back the Conservative Party commitment to the NHS to securing the highest standards of care at the end of people’s lives. In 2012, we published the first NHS Mandate which included achieving the highest standards of care for the end of people’s lives. This involves identifying people at the end of their lives and involving them as much as they want in plans around their death, including preferences for care.
My Grandmother was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway – something which I believe is immoral and has no place in today’s medical provision. The Conservative Party has abolished this and increased individual choice in end of life care. We have implemented a personalised end of life care plan backed up by condition-specific good practice guidance, agreed with a named senior clinician for each patient.
We have also ended financial incentives for hospitals to promote a certain type of care, allowing for more individual care plans. NHS England has worked to bring about an immediate end to local financial incentives for hospitals to promote a certain type of care for dying patients. In addition we have instructed all hospitals to carry out a review into end of life care, to achieve high quality appropriate care. These will be led by senior clinicians and will ensure that end of life care is only given to those for whom it is appropriate.
End of life care is important and a topic that must always remain at the top of the agenda. I would like to thank Dorothy House for all their hard work and their support and assistance to so many families and friends who have lost loved ones. They do the impossible and make death less painful for the suffering and their families. This iconic charity is a part of the fabric of Wiltshire and I will work hard to ensure that it remains so.