Policy on palliative care in the WHO European region: an overview of progress since the Council of Europe’s (2003) recommendation 24

Woitha, K., Carrasco, J. M., Clark, D., Lynch, T., Garralda, E., Martin-Moreno, J. M. and Centeno, C. (2016) Policy on palliative care in the WHO European region: an overview of progress since the Council of Europe’s (2003) recommendation 24. European Journal of Public Health, 26(2), pp. 230-235. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckv201)

Woitha, K., Carrasco, J. M., Clark, D., Lynch, T., Garralda, E., Martin-Moreno, J. M. and Centeno, C. (2016) Policy on palliative care in the WHO European region: an overview of progress since the Council of Europe’s (2003) recommendation 24. European Journal of Public Health, 26(2), pp. 230-235. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckv201)

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Abstract

Background: With the goal of achieving greater unity and coherence, the Council of Europe developed a national palliative care (PC) policy framework—Recommendation (2003) 24. Although directed at member states, the policy spread to the wider World Health Organisation (WHO) European Region. This article aims to present the current situation relating to national PC health policies in European countries. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 53 European countries of the WHO European Region. Relevant data reported (i) the existence of official documents concerning the provision of PC; (ii) the role of health departments and policymakers in the evaluation of PC provision and (iii) the availability of financial resources for PC provision. Results: In total, 46/53 (87%) EU and non-EU countries responded. PC legislation is established in 20 (71%) EU and nine (50%) non-EU countries. A total of 12 (43%) EU countries possess a PC plan or strategy in comparison with six (33%) non-EU countries. Individuals from Departments of Health and designated policymakers have established collaborative PC efforts. Quality systems have been initiated in 15 (54%) EU and four (22%) non-EU countries. Significant differences were not found in the reporting of payments for PC services between European regions. Conclusion: An improvement in national PC policy in both EU and non-EU countries was observed. Future priorities include potential initiatives to improve relationships with policymakers, establish quality control programmes and ensure financial support for PC.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David
Authors: Woitha, K., Carrasco, J. M., Clark, D., Lynch, T., Garralda, E., Martin-Moreno, J. M., and Centeno, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:European Journal of Public Health
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1101-1262
ISSN (Online):1464-360X
Published Online:06 November 2015

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