Today (21 March 2018), Together for Short Lives has set out a bold five-year strategy, to work with its members and partners, to improve children’s palliative across the UK. The new strategy for 2018-2023, called “Together for the 49,000+”, focuses on achieving positive change for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, their families, and those that support them.
The strategy was informed by a wide-ranging conversation with families, our members and stakeholders. We listened, and what we heard helped shape the strategy. The strategy is published at a vital time for children’s palliative care. There are at least 49,000 children with life-limiting conditions across the UK, and that number is rising. More seriously ill babies are surviving, and children and young people are living longer with more complex conditions. Yet the policy and funding environment is failing to keep pace with this change, leaving families isolated without the care they need, services stretched, and professionals concerned about capacity to provide choice in care.
Together for Short Lives five-year strategy seeks to ensure that no children or family is left behind. The strategy seeks to:
- Build a strong and sustainable children’s palliative care sector for the 49,000+ seriously ill children and their families.
- Ensure children, young people and families are supported and empowered.
- Join up policy, services, care and support for children and families.
- Create greater understanding and support for children’s palliative care.
The charity is clear that these goals cannot be achieved alone. The ambitions in our strategy will be achieved by working in collaboration with young people, families, children’s hospices, palliative care charities, community nursing teams and specialist services across the NHS.
Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO for Together for Short Lives said:
We listened to the views of families, young people and the lifeline services and professionals that support them – and what we heard informed our strategy for change. Our ambition is for the delivery of a shared strategy to improve the quality of life and end of life care for babies, children and young people with life-liming conditions, and for their families.”
“We cannot achieve lasting change alone, meeting the challenges families face will require greater collaboration. By strengthening our partnerships with our members and stakeholders, and together with the voices of children, young people and families at the heart of everything we do, we can do more as a strong and powerful movement. Together we can deliver change so that children’s palliative care services are adequately funded, understood and supported, and no child or family is left behind.