Almost 50,000 people experienced poor end of life care last year

In a report compiled by the end of life care coalition it has been found that almost 50,000 people experienced substandard palliative care. A large proportion of those that experienced poor care did so due to being denied the opportunity to die within their own homes and subsequently died in hospitals.

The report calls for more advice to be given to families/friends of those approaching the end of their lives on how to care for their loved one. It states that too often people are left inadequately supported by those around them. It is a cycle which begins with the lack of advice and ends with admissions to hospital when in some cases such admissions could be avoided with good palliative care that can be administered in a home setting.

A recent national survey of bereaved carers found that 97% of people wanted to die at home but almost 50% died within hospital last year. Lynda Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Cancer Support spoke on behalf of the coalition: –

“People at the end of life should be given choice over important issues such as where they spend their final days, and sadly we know that this isn’t always the case. Too often we hear of people being marooned in hospital, because they are not getting the right care at home. Nobody wants to see this happen as it is an appalling situation for the individual and puts strain on the health service.”

NHS England conducted a survey which pointed to 75% of the family/friends of deceased rated the end of life care their loved one received as at least ‘good’. NHS England stated that it is committed to improving people’s experiences of care and is working with agencies and charities to realise this ambition.

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