§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 13 December 1999]: Support for families and carers of terminally ill patients is an integral part of the principles and practice of palliative care. The Department of Health has distributed three documents providing guidance on key issues facing the dying and their carers. These documents were already widely used by the voluntary sector. The three documents which were issued under cover of HSC 1998/115 are:
- i) Guidelines for Managing Cancer Pain in Adults.
- ii) Changing Gear—Guidelines for Managing the Last Days of life in adults
- iii) Palliative care in the hospital setting.
Professor Mike Richards, the new National Cancer Director, has identified supportive care as one of his key priorities and will over the coming months work closely with health care professionals and voluntary organisations to assess how supportive care services can best be provided to all patients.
In addition, the National Lottery New Opportunities Fund is making available £23 million for the prevention and palliative care element of the "Living with Cancer Programme" in England over the next three years. This initiative will be launched in January 2000.