PEOPLE with long term illnesses need to talk to family about dying to help improve palliative care MSPs have heard.

Concerns about the availability and quality of end of live care for terminally ill patients have led to calls for more provision and better care.

Health and care inspection bodies appeared before MSPs on the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee to discuss improvements.

SNP MSP, Denis Robertson, asked what was required to bring about change.

He said: "We need to understand palliative care better. Should we have the death and dying discussion earlier, would that help to improve palliative care?"

He asked if people should have anticipatory care plans drawn up earlier after diagnosis with a long term terminal illness.

Officers from the Care Inspectorate, Public sector Ombudsman and Health improvement Scotland said there were good examples of care for terminally ill people but more was needed.

Jacqui McCrae, of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: "It would be helpful for patients to have discussions earlier."

She said that the point at which people were ready to plan their final care would be different for different people with different illnesses.

MSPs had concerns about the lack of knowledge of how many people are diagnosed affecting the ability to plan the future care needs of the population.

Richard Simpson Labour MSP said recording information was a "disgrace".

He said he had seen examples of people who had a "rotten death" because they had been resuscitated against their wishes because it was recorded in a care plan.

He had concerns about overall recording of cognitive impairment conditions like dementia.

He said: "People with dementia were not having it recorded in hospital records. That's a disgrace."

Rami Okasha of the Care Inspectorate said: "There needs to be improvements in sharing information."

The committee hearing took place less than a week after MSPs rejected Patrick Harvie's Assisted Suicide Bill.

Many who opposed the Bill said there needed to be improvements in palliative care.

Bob Doris, Glasgow SNP MSP said the committee inquiry was a separate issue.

He said: "This stands irrespective of Patrick Harvie's Bill and the outcome of the vote.

He said the question was "how do we drive improvement?"

Mr Doris said: "Do we know how many people are in the system. Are we counting the numbers who need palliative care?"

Ms McCrae admitted that was a challenge. She said: "Many people are being cared for in their own home."

She said the available figures were "significantly out of date."