End of Life Care

The South West is one of the highest performing regions in terms of end of life care in England, against current indicators . The SWSCN’s End of Life programme builds on the legacy of the South West End of Life Network. The new programme was established following a priority setting planning conference, attended by over 80 clinicians and commissioners, held in April 2014.

How does the end of life programme work?

An Expert Reference Group has been set up to act as a steering group monitoring progress. It meets quarterly, the first meeting was held in July 2014 and are chaired by Dr Susanna Hill who is the EoL Clinical Network lead

The SWSCN represents the South West region on the National Palliative Care and End of Life Network, which is Chaired by Dr Bee Wee. Leads ensure that a two way feedback of information on practice development happens regularly.

Champions of End of Life Care for each organisation in the region are asked to register here. This network of organisational leads set the agenda via an annual End of Life South West conference. The champions are informed of progress regularly via this website and invited to join new initiatives and task and finish projects as suits their specific interests and skills.

The work of end of life programme has three aims:

  • Co-ordination of Care
  • Quality Improvement
  • Strategic Influencing and engagement

The programme oversees service improvement delivered via task and finish projects, joint initiatives with other networks and the local implementation of national practice development; through education and development activity, clinical input, patient and family engagement, production of unified guidance and commissioning support.

Priorities we are currently working on are:

  • Implementation of One Chance to Get it Right (the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People response to the Baroness Neuberger Liverpool Care Pathway Review) and the Ambitions for Palliative and EoLC. This includes workforce development projects working with Health Education South West, which are linked to the quality improvement leadership programme for medical directors (a partnership lead by the regional Medical Directorate, with NHS IQ and AHSNs))
  • Advance Care Planning (jointly with the Dementia SWSCN)
  • Uptake and use of EPaCCS (Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination System)
  • Region wide approach to resuscitation management (jointly with the South Western Ambulance Trust)
  • Improving quality and outcome measures (jointly with PHE’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network) including patient and family input
  • Supporting the roll out of the Compassionate Communities programme, which includes recommendations from the ‘Help the Hospices’ report
  • Increasing personalisation in end of life care, (linked to the Personal Health Budgets and Integrated Commissioning Programme and the Maternity and Children’s SWSCN) including patient and family involvement


The South West – End of Life Care Lead – Gina King has published the How to guide for implementing the Quality Outcome Framework for End of Life document, which can be downloaded below:

QOF EoL Toolkit


We are keen to work with other networks to improve the end of life elements of all care pathways where appropriate. For more information about any elements of our work please contact us