New approaches are being implemented to improve the co-ordination, and quality, of care for people approaching the end of life.
As recommended in the End of Life Care Strategy (DH, 2008), EPaCCS (formerly known as Locality Registers) were piloted in 8 localities. These pilots tested out approaches to developing and implementing an electronic system which would hold key information about a person’s care and expressed wishes and preferences, and be instantly accessible to all key staff and organisations involved in the delivery of that care.
Extensive work is underway on wider implementation. For example, building on work from the pilots, an EPaCCS ( called ‘Co-ordinate my Care’) is being commissioned to cover the entire London area, and systems are also being rolled-out across the south west. Early findings show that EPaCCS, in tandem with relevant training for staff, can deliver substantial benefits, enabling far more people to be cared for and die at home in line with their preferences, and significantly reducing the number of hospital deaths.
Work is being undertaken to support implementation. An End of life care co-ordination: core content Information Standard has been approved by the Information Standards Board, which will underpin the effective use of EPaCCS.
Initiatives by the National End of Life Care Programme and the DH QIPP Digital Team are also underway. This will include the development of architecture plans and interoperability standards, informing choice of the best IT systems to suit local circumstances, and support work with IT suppliers to ensure information can flow effectively between different systems.