04 November 2013
Sue Ryder response to Public Health England 'What we now know' report
The rise in people dying at home is encouraging, but we still have a long way to go before we significantly reduce the numbers of people that suffer from distressing end of life experiences.
89% of people that die in hospital do so as the result of an emergency admission into hospital and this cannot be allowed to continue.
Through increased advance care planning, more people can receive tailored support in the place of their choosing whether that be at home, hospital, a hospice or care home. A key aspect of this is the communication between health care professionals and patients in order to record and act upon their wishes and preferences.
Our ‘Ways and means’ report highlighted that healthcare professionals can struggle to decide when someone is dying, especially if they have complex needs or are very old, leading to last minute planning and disjointed care.
In addition, existing research has highlighted that 35% of GPs say they have never initiated an end-of-life-care conversation with any of their patients.
No more than ever, we need further commitment from government through mandatory end of life care training for all health professionals and the introduction of free social care for people at the end of their lives.
Training will help to address some of the underlying causes of poor end of life care provision, including poor communication and a lack of understanding.
Free social care would enable more people to die at home if they choose to, and would help to reduce the frequency of emergency hospital admissions, many of which are avoidable, upsetting for patients and costly.
Only when further action is taken, will we see real change that removes the barriers which prevent too many people from accessing the quality end of life care they deserve.
To read the report in full, click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-report-from-phe-shows-improvements-in-end-of-life-care