Home care cuts hospital admissions for the elderly

Patients who receive home-based end-of-life care are less likely to require emergency hospital treatment than those who do not, according to new research.

Home care patients are also significantly less likely to die in hospital, according to the study.

Researchers from the Nuffield Trust examined almost 60,000 terminally ill patients, half of whom received care from the Marie Curie Nursing Service.

The study found that:

  • While 12% of those who received the service were admitted to hospital as an emergency at the end of life, more than a third of patients who received "standard" care were admitted
  • 77% of those who utilised the service died at home
  • compared with 35% of the control group
  • 8% of the Marie Curie patients died in hospital compared with two fifths of the patients who did not receive the service.