STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Families of dying excluded from ‘critical conversations’ about what happens at the end of life

The families of people who are dying are too often excluded from “critical conversations” about what happens at the end of life, experts have warned.

More needs to be done to involve the dying and their loved ones to ensure people have the death they want, they said. Dr Jonathan Koffman, senior lecturer in palliative care at King’s College London, said a round 500,000 people die in England every year, with around a fifth dying from cancer.

“How will we identify these individuals and provide them with impeccable assessment?,” he said, adding “you can’t undo these moments”. He said NHS care was variable for those who were dying and there were examples of poor care. “There’s inconsistency and poor quality care meted out to people at critical moments in their life,” he said. “Then there’s poor management of really distressing symptoms.

“This is not a vocal constituency – they can’t talk. And, of course, the family members who are subsequently bereaved are too wounded by those experiences to then talk and help us work out what to do better.”

Around 50% of people die in hospital despite the fact most want to die at home, Dr Koffman said. “The reality is that they don’t get what they want.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2015/09/03/families-of-dying-excluded-from-critical-conversations/

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Nurses and doctors need better training on end of life care, experts said

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

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