Some hospitals 'falling short' on end of life care
Hospitals are "falling short" on providing quality care for patients in their final days, according to a review. The National Care of the Dying Audit for Hospitals warned a postcode lottery with "significant" variations in care for dying people.
The Government is "seriously concerned" about the postcode lottery emerging in the standard of care given to patients in their last days of life.
Care and support minister Norman Lamb said:
All patients should be receiving high quality and compassionate care in their last days of life - there can be no excuse for anything less.
This report shows evidence of very good care but I am seriously concerned about the variations in care, and improvements are needed in the way some clinicians communicate with patients and support families.
I am determined this should improve.
To help address these issues, we are working on plans to support all services in giving everyone in the last days and hours of life, and their families, the good quality, compassionate care they deserve.
Medics were failing to communicate properly with the dying and more support for family members was needed, according to the National Care of the Dying Audit for Hospitals.
The audit also warned there were "significant" variations in the quality of care provided by different hospitals in England.
Dr Kevin Stewart, chair of the audit's steering group said: "Although some aspects of care are good in hospitals in England, I am deeply concerned that some hospitals are falling short of the excellent care that should be provided to both dying people and those important to them.
"In particular, communication with patients and their families is generally poor."