'Under half of patients' unaware they are dying

Less than half of patients capable of a discussion about their palliative care are unaware they are dying because healthcare staff fail to communicated properly with them, a study has found.

The National Care of the Dying Audit for Hospitals also found:

  • Only 17% of patients were informed they were being assessed to see if they needed extra artificial hydration or nutrition.
  • One in five were asked about their spiritual needs.
  • Almost a quarter (24%) said they did not feel involved in discussions about their dying relatives' care or treatment.
  • A further 37% felt there was a poor level of emotional support given to them by the healthcare team.
  • And a quarter said they did not feel adequately supported during the last two days of their loved ones' life.

Read: Hospitals 'falling short' on caring for the dying

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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.