Andrew Mitchell calls for better evidence on the options available for terminally ill people at the end of their life.
Terminally Ill People: End of Life Options
Mr Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) (Con)
What plans he has to improve the evidence base for future debates on the options available for terminally ill people at the end of their life. (910587)
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matt Hancock)
Care at the end of life is a crucial part of our health and care system, and we are committed to improving the quality of care for those at the end of life. Current practice is informed by a range of evidence, including guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The Government are open to gathering data on the experiences of terminally ill people in order to inform the debate.
May I also express my gratitude to the NHS in all its many forms in the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield for their hard work over Christmas and new year, including giving me a new knee?
I thank the Secretary of State for managing to take an interest in this important subject when he is so stretched on so many other fronts. Nearly 10% of suicides are by people who are terminally ill, and the all-party group that I have the privilege of co-chairing will hear from a mother this afternoon whose terminally ill son took his own life by throwing himself under an HGV on the north circular.
To add to knowledge, information and understanding, will the Secretary of State and his Department make a point of working with coroners and the Office for National Statistics from across the country, so that we can understand the true extent of these tragedies?
I am very happy to look at the suggestion that my right hon. Friend makes on this very sensitive subject. We want to see the highest possible standards of patient safety and, of course, to reduce the number of suicides, and it is important in pursuing that to have as much information and evidence as possible.