Coordinated palliative care system implemented across UK

A new electronic palliative care system is being implemented across the UK to improve care and allow effective communication across multiple points of care.

PHE and NHS Improving Quality announced the changes to the End of Life Care Co-ordination Information Standard this week.

The 2008 National End of Life Care Strategy recommended locality registers as a way to enable effective communication among professionals.

From this experience grew the Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS), which are now being implemented across the country.

EPaCCS provide a shared locality record for health and social care professionals. They allow rapid access across care boundaries, to key information about an individual approaching the end of life, including their expressed preferences for care.

Localities wishing to develop their own EPaCCS can draw on a number of resources to support implementation:

  • A national information standard (ISB 1580), which defines the core data set and works for either electronic or paper-based systems
  • Record keeping guidance, endorsed by several professional organisations representing physicians, nurses, emergency services and allied health professional
  • Implementation guidance, to help localities with the process of creating an EPaCCS and putting it into practice
  • A case for change to inform local commissioners
  • Guidance on information governance, to protect patient information
  • An independent economic evaluation of EPaCCS to support the case for change.

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