Priority Issues

NCPC believes that everyone should have access to high quality end of life care which meets their needs and preferences. There have been many improvements in care for people approaching the end of life over recent years across the UK, but there is still a lot to do.

Prioritising end of life care

We work to ensure that people can access palliative care across England, Wales and N. Ireland, pushing for the implementation of national strategies and initiatives at every opportunity.

The Government in England has introduced significant changes to the health and social care systems since being elected in May 2010. These were set out by the Department of Health in Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. We are working hard to ensure palliative and end of life care stay a priority in the new arrangements and have designed a toolkit to help local people and organisations ensure this happens. You can read more about our response to the Government's consultations here.


We identify and provide practical solutions to address barriers faced by people who need palliative and end of life care, in relation to:  

  • Diagnosis – improving access to and producing guidance for the care of people with conditions such as heart failure, dementia, or neurological conditions.
  • Setting – influencing commissioning of services and disseminating good practice across all settings, including community settings and care homes as well as hospices and hospitals
  • Groups – ensuring all people can access services regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, beliefs, national or social origin, sexual orientation, homelessness status or other characteristic.

Ethical issues

Responding to new legislation from Westminster such as the Mental Capacity Act, promoting the use of Advance Care Planning and exploring issues in clinical practice such as sedation. We host national conference, for example Managing crises at the end of life: Responsibility, welfare & choice in September 2012


We work to ensure that services are properly funded on the ground, including campaigning for the full implementation of the End of Life Care Strategy in England. Read more here.


We are working with a coallborative of charities to try to improve the transition between palliative and end of life care services for children, young people and adults. You can read more about the Transitions Partnership here.


The idea of personalisation in one sense is not new to end of life care: holistic person-centred care treating is central to the palliative care approach. We are working to identify all the levers that can be used to shape people’s care around their individual needs and to make sure that top-level personalisation initiatives such as personal budgets and direct payments can genuinely benefit those approaching the end of life and their carers

Read our publication Ultimately Personal: Shaping Services Around People in End of Life Care.

Older Hospital


Influence local decision makers

We have designed a toolkit to empower local people to push for the right end of life care services following reform of the health and social care system.

Get the toolkit