Delivering Choice Programme

Since 2004, our service design team has been bringing together providers and commissioners from the public, independent and voluntary sectors to pioneer new ways of working through the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme (DCP).

This initiative has changed the way end of life care is delivered in 18 sites across the UK, including Lincolnshire, Somerset and Greenwich (London).

How we developed the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme

Since 2004, Marie Curie has been championing a whole-systems approach to end of life care provision when we launched our pioneering Delivering Choice Programme.

Our programme has helped us to build vast experience in designing and delivering innovative patient-centred end of life care, which we are now offering through our DCP Local service. Working together with the NHS, local authority and independent partners, we have developed, tested and delivered effective local solutions to end of life care across 18 sites in the UK.

Our programme has helped shape the national end of life agenda in England. In 2008, informed by our work, the Department of Health published its first end of life care strategy. The strategy commended our programme's model of care delivery using a whole systems approach that focuses on improvements throughout the patient care pathway.

The Scottish Government has also recognised our programme as an example of good practice in the planning and delivery of end of life care.

How the Delivering Choice Programme works

The Delivering Choice Programme works with local providers and commissioners to design and deliver services that meet local needs and ensure:

  • the best possible care for palliative care patients
  • equity of access to services
  • appropriate support services for patients and their carers
  • choice of place of care and death is available to all
  • improvements in coordination of care among stakeholders

Our programme's service design methodology is based on whole systems thinking. Using this approach, we focus on localised and sustainable solutions that address issues and barriers across the entire system of service delivery.

In each project, we work together with local care providers and organisations to examine existing care services and needs, before designing, piloting and evaluating new service improvements.

Sustainable solutions for every locality

To help us achieve our aim of increasing people's choice in place of care and death, we launched our first Delivering Choice project in Lincolnshire in 2004. We have since funded and managed six other projects – in Leeds; Tayside (Scotland); Barnet, North London; South East London; Somerset; and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear.

Read more about some of our pilot projects:

In recent years, a number of localities have also adopted the Delivering Choice methodology independently. They have included Tower Hamlets; Great Yarmouth and Waveney; Norfolk; Heart of Birmingham; Worcestershire; Peterborough; Suffolk; West Essex; Barnsley; Westminster; and North East Essex.

Each of our Delivering Choice pilot projects provided excellent opportunities for us to test and implement new ways of delivering services in different settings with varying demographics and levels of deprivation.

From addressing care coordination and provision to the necessary skills to deliver high quality end of life care, our Delivering Choice pilot projects have successfully introduced a range of innovative services.

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