On 8 May, Ashtons Directors, Laurence Sprey and Yachna Tak, attended the most recent committee meeting for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hospice and Palliative Care at the Houses of Parliament.
This APPG raises awareness and promotes the needs of people living with terminal or life-shortening conditions. It brings together MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to debate key issues and campaign together to improve palliative and end-of-life care. It holds regular meetings throughout the year, connecting parliamentarians with a diverse range of organisations and individuals with experience of palliative and end-of-life care.
The APPG is currently undertaking an inquiry into improving access to hospice and palliative care.
Why are we attending these meetings?
Ashtons supports the purpose of the APPG and those who wish to help ensure hospices are funded appropriately, enabling them to provide the best level of care. We were very impressed by a speech made at the meeting by Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, who highlighted that access to palliative care is not currently acceptable. Tracey made the point that access to maternity care is such that every baby in the UK can be born with dignity in a maternity ward. The same cannot be said with end-of-life care.
With access to palliative care already not available to everyone in their own town, and many hospices struggling to balance their books due to issues with funding (which can vary from nothing to 40%), it is vital that organisations like ourselves work with hospices to ensure the services they receive are appropriate.
For Ashtons, this means the provision of pharmacy services and the management of medication.
One significant issue that our research has highlighted in recent months is that obtaining a consistent, reliable and legal supply of stock medication is becoming increasingly challenging for many hospices in the UK.
We are dedicated to improving the provision of pharmacy services and the supply of medication for hospices throughout the UK, delivering a better, more cost-effective and more efficient service than many hospices currently receive.