National palliative and end of life care update – from the NHS

National palliative and end of life care update – from the NHS

08 August 2022

Welcome to a one-off edition of our national palliative and end of life care (PEoLC) update in regards to the Palliative and End of Life Care Statutory Guidance. Our usual bulletin schedule will stay the same. If you have any queries about any of the content, or would like to discuss sharing work from your team/organisation, please email

📢 Key messages and updates

We are pleased to inform you that the Palliative and End of Life Care Statutory Guidance has been published by NHS England and can be found on NHS England web pages at

As you will be aware, there are wide reaching reforms within the Health and Care Act 2022, including the legal foundations for Integrated Care Boards (ICBs). Clause 21 of the Act states that ICBs have a legal responsibility to commission palliative care services that meet their population needs and is included in a list of health services ICBs must arrange as are appropriate. The duty is intended to ensure that Integrated Care Boards consider and action how they will meet the palliative and end of life care needs of people of all ages, with progressive illness or those nearing the end of their lives, and their loved ones and carers, receive the care and support they need to live and to die well.

The statutory guidance has been developed by NHS England and ICBs must have regard to it. The guidance details key considerations for ICBs and six key actions ICB commissioners should take to enable the ICB to realise its legal duties. These include undertaking an Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care self-assessment, development and implementation of PEoLC service specifications for all ages, ensuring a sufficient provision 24/7 access to specialist palliative care advice and completion of an Equalities Impact Assessment and action plan specific to PEoLC.

Please can you circulate this information to others across your networks as we seek to support ICSs, ICBs and ICPs to consider how they meet their population’s palliative and end of life care needs and their legal duties to commission such services. The statutory guidance will be of relevance and interest to: patients, carers and the public; NHS providers, commissioners and professionals within health and social care services; local authorities; and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

To further support systems, NHS England are committed to publishing a handbook which provides additional support to ICBs as they develop their Forward View Plans and undertake assessments of their population need. This handbook will be published on NHS Futures in September 2022 and we encourage colleagues to sign up for access by emailing . We also encourage you to work closely with your PEoLC Strategic Clinical Network Managers who can provide support and information to help you meet your duties.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. If you would like to submit an update, resource or event in a future issue please contact

National Palliative and End of Life Care Team

part of The Personalised Care Group

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