MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Had an interesting meeting with North London Hospice.
I have always been shocked – that end of life care (dying basically) is often left to charities rather than being part of the NHS and properly funded by them. The NHS funds about 30% of North London Hospice – but that clearly leaves a mega-gap to be funded by donations and bequests etc. In this recession their receipts are 30% down – so problems ahead. And when it is our relative dying – we want the best. If they can’t die at home – then hospital is not really the right place.
There is a proposal afoot – from the NHS – that when a dying person is referred to a hospice – a patients’ tariff should go with them to cover the costs of that referral – which seems an excellent idea to me. So I will definitely support this and see where Haringey PCT is on this and how soon it can be brought in.
The other thing that surprised me was that Haringey has no ‘end of life’ strategy. Our neighbouring boroughs do have such a strategy – which I believe is a requirement now by the Department of Health. So – equally – I am going to contact Haringey PCT to try and arrange a mini-summit to try and encourage them to enjoin with local partners and the North London Hospice to put forward an end of life strategy.
It’s the sort of thing we don’t much like thinking about – which is even more a reason to get it sorted!