- NICE urging medical staff to help terminally ill youngsters draw up ‘care plans’
- Could include places to visit, finishing GCSEs, who should be given belongings
- Guidelines are latest from NICE whose main role is to decide drugs on NHS
Sophie Borland Health Editor For The Daily Mail
Doctors and nurses should help children with terminal cancer draw up ‘bucket lists’ of their hopes and dreams, according to the health watchdog.
NICE is urging medical staff to draw up care plans with youngsters and their parents which include their life ambitions and wishes.
This could include places they want to visit, finishing their GCSEs as well as making specific wishes for who should be given precious belongings.
Medics or care workers developing care plans for youngsters should ask about their “life ambitions and wishes”, according to new guidance on end-of-life care for children and young people from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice)
The guidelines are the latest in a string of announcements from NICE, whose main role is to decide what drugs should be available on the NHS. Critics have accused the watchdog of nannying and urged it to stick to recommending new drugs.
The watchdog has compiled guidelines to improve the care of the 40,000 children and teenagers in England with ‘life limiting’ conditions.
This includes any illness which can’t be cured such as certain types of cancer, cystic fibrosis or liver failure.
Dr Emily Harrop, a consultant specialising in paediatric palliative care in Oxford, who helped to develop the guideline, said: ‘The child or a parent, depending on the child’s age, should also be asked about life ambitions.
‘When we start a conversation about end-of-life planning, rather than introduce that with a very closed question or a very negative question, we often start by asking for things like ‘What do you hope for? What do you aspire to do for yourself? What would you hope your child to achieve?’
‘It is incredible what you get back actually. It’s rarely as simple as you’d think.
‘It is always very, very individual.
‘For the adolescents I care for, a lot of it is about their legacy, what they leave behind.
Stephen Sutton (pictured), who battled cancer in 2013, compiled a bucket list of 43 ‘weird and wonderful things’ he wanted to achieve before his death. He accomplished many of them including a skydive and playing the drums in front of 90,000 people before a Champions League final at Wembley. The 19 year old from Burntwood in Staffordshire died in May 2014
‘It’s about what they wish to achieve with the time they have – do they want to do their GCSEs? If they have treasured possessions, are they desperate to know who they are going to leave those to?’ Professor Mark Baker, director for the centre of guidelines at NICE said: “To lose a child is a tragic, life-changing event. But the care given to a child and their family during this difficult time can offer great comfort, if done properly.
As he battled cancer in 2013, Stephen Sutton compiled a bucket list of 43 ‘weird and wonderful things’ he wanted to achieve before his death.
He accomplished many of them including a skydive and playing the drums in front of 90,000 people before a Champions League final at Wembley.
The 19 year old from Burntwood in Staffordshire died in May 2014 having raised £3.2 million for charity.
NICE has issued a string of guidelines in the past few months and only last week called for 50 mph speed limits on motorways to slash air pollution.
The watchdog is better known as the NHS’s drugs rationing body but in recent years its remit has expanded to cover public health advice.
Recommendations have included telling pregnant women not to eat for two and retirees to avoid overindulging on food and drink.
Published at Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:30:01 +0000