• Delivered by the Point of Care Foundation and NHS England (South).
  • Will be implemented across the NHS England South region, in acute, primary and community settings.
  • Aims to improve end-of-life care, particular in the last 2–3 days of life, using the Patient and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) approach and methodology.
  • A patient-focused service improvement programme will be introduced which incorporates aspects of peer-to-peer education and support, alongside collaborative working.

End-of-life care is a major concern for the public and the NHS. Following the review of the Liverpool Care Pathway and the pathway’s subsequent withdrawal from use, many senior leaders and frontline staff face great uncertainty and lack confidence in the care they should be providing to patients who are at the end of their lives, and to their families.

Patients facing the end of their life, and their families, need significant support. However, many people who receive care in the last days of their life are looked after in general acute and community settings, where staff may not have specialist training.

This Spreading Improvement project looks to improve end-of-life care using the methodology of the Patient and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) programme. The programme, which ran from 2010 to 2013 (for part of this under the name ‘Hospital Pathways Programme’), was funded by the Health Foundation and the King’s Fund. The aim was to improve the ability of NHS organisations to deliver high-quality patient (and family) centred care.

This project, led by the Point of Care Foundation, is building capacity and capability in patient-centred quality improvement using PFCC methods across the NHS England South region, incorporating peer-to-peer education and support, and collaborative working.

Focusing on the last 2–3 days of life, it is looking to improve the experience of patients and families, improve support for staff delivering end-of-life care, and build capability in quality improvement. 

The team have recruited 8 sites across the South region to work with in the first phase of the programme. These teams have all now implemented improvements in their local areas as a result of the programme. The project is now spreading the PFCC methods to another 19 sites across England. Coaches from the original 8 sites will be trained to work with the new sites which will enable them to share learning and experience from the first phase.