We’re delighted to have been appointed to undertake some important qualitative evaluation work for NHS England. We are undertaking the qualitative elements of an evaluation of the palliative care development currency. The currency is being tested this year by 13 providers of palliative care, along with their commissioning bodies.
The use of currencies is well established in the NHS and is the basis of payment for the majority of acute care. A ‘currency’ in this context is a way of grouping patients’ healthcare needs into units that have broadly similar clinical and resource needs. The aim is to allow transparent discussions between commissioners and providers on the care provided, service planning and appropriate levels of funding.
Development of a currency for palliative care services has been ongoing for a number of years, following recommendations of the independent Palliative Care Funding Review in July 2011.
Ultimately it is hoped that a currency for palliative care will provide greater clarity for providers and commissioners, and greater quality and equity of provision for patients. Over the next few months, we’ll be talking to those testing the currency and ascertaining how it is working on the ground.