Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews If I Ruled the NHS

Palliative care for everyone with advanced progressive incurable illness

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 05 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h605
  1. Mayur Lakhani, chairman, National Council for Palliative Care, UK
  1. mk.lakhani{at}

In a 2008 poll BMJ readers voted “palliative care in conditions other than cancer” as the intervention that would make the “greatest difference to healthcare.” If I ruled the NHS I would make this a reality. All people with advanced progressive incurable illnesses would receive palliative care regardless of diagnosis or postcode.

By doing this, we would make good care for all at the end of life the norm. People in the last years of their life or with life limiting diagnoses would be encouraged to think ahead and make advance care plans. Quality and value would improve dramatically. Moreover, it could tackle the problem of …

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