Progress needed on end of life care

6th July,  2015

Progress needed on end of life care

Earlier this year there was a major debate in Parliament and across the country about the proposal to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

It was during this debate that the serious shortcomings in palliative and end of life care where brought to the fore.

Richard Meade of Marie Curie Cancer Care summed up the failings well during the health committee’s scrutiny of the legislation when he said;

“at present in Scotland, palliative care is not available to everybody and, when people get it, it often comes much too close to the end, when they could have benefited from it for far longer.”

It is in response to these concerns that last week the health committee which I convene launched an inquiry to see how it can be improved.

We could certainly learn a lot from Ardgowan Hospice which has been a cornerstone of the Inverclyde community for over thirty years with its focus on choice for patients and personalised care.

As part of its inquiry the committee would like to hear your stories. What has been your experience in accessing palliative and end of life care?  And how could it be ensured that it is available in all areas and for all types of terminal illnesses?

These are just some of the questions we are asking. If you would like to submit your views then please visit the Scottish Parliament website prior to August 12th at

Together I hope we can move towards a situation where high quality palliative and end of life care is available to everyone, whatever their condition, wherever they live and at the right time.