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Dying people need integrated services, not open competition

31 May 2011

In its response to the NHS Listening Exercise on NHS reforms, Help the Hospices, the national charity for hospice care, calls for the health and social care bill to promote collaboration rather than competition.

Jonathan Ellis, Help the Hospices director of policy, said:

"We are not opposed to a mixed economy within the health sector. Local hospices are themselves outside of the NHS, but work in collaboration with other providers like the NHS and local authorities to make sure people receive the highest quality health and social care at the end of life.


"But we fear the proposed reforms are too focused on competition instead of collaboration and we are worried the model of competition proposed in the bill could threaten future collaboration, which is so essential to the development of complex services like hospice and palliative care.


"For far too long poor quality NHS commissioning has been a barrier to hospices as they strive to meet the needs of an ageing population.  So in order to achieve more and better collaboration across hospice and palliative care, it is essential the principles of collaboration are embedded within the new commissioning processes.


"These reforms come at a time when hospices are being expected to do more, while receiving less from the NHS to do so. Without making collaboration and partnership working central to the reforms, the transition from the old system to the new could lead to chaos among providers and directly affect the delivery of high quality care for people who are dying."

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Help the Hospices spokespeople are available for interview. Please contact the media and PR team.