7 January 2022

Living well today is an action plan for improving the care of people who are at the end of their life. It recognises that every day is valuable to a dying person and to their family, and that this is greatly influenced by the care they receive.

Demand for care at end of life is growing. The UK population in 2019 was 66.65m, with 530,000 deaths (ONS). That is 0.8% of the population. It is estimated that this will rise by 25% to 663,00 deaths each year by 2040. As a result, more CNWL staff will be involved in caring for people at the end of life and will therefore need the training to support patients and bereaved families and carers.

This plan therefore is about care for everyone, as life progresses. It is about preserving the dignity and humanity of every person.

In CNWL we provide care for the most vulnerable people – those with learning disabilities, people with dementia, those in the criminal justice system and people who suffer with addictions, as just some examples. It is well-documented that these vulnerable people too often receive a poorer level of end of life care than others. Our staff have recognised this, and the role they can play in improving the experience of death. This plan is primarily the result of requests from our staff for more knowledge about how to care for dying patients.

When caring for someone in the last year of their life we have but one chance to get care right. High quality care needs to be, without apology, personal. Failing to do so not only deprives our patients of the best end of life care but can leave a devastating legacy.

Our plan aligns with the refreshed Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care – A national framework for local action 2021-2026 i, and its renewed emphasis that good care is focussed on ‘What Matters to Me’. It will be further developed in line with planning taking place in our Integrated Care Systems – North West London, North Central London and Bedford, Luton & Milton Keynes.

Download the plan here (opens pdf)