STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

UK end-of-life care ‘best in world’ Get in touch with the BBC to air your views

Now’s your chance to air your views….From the BBC… Has a family member or a friend of yours experienced end-of-life care in the UK? Let us know about their experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk
Upload your pictures / video here
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

The study of 80 countries said thanks to the NHS and hospice movement the care provided was “second to none”. Rich nations tended to perform the best – with Australia and New Zealand ranked second and third respectively. But the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit praised progress made in some of the poorest countries. For example. Mongolia – ranked 28th – has invested in hospice facilities, while Uganda – 35th – has managed to improve access to pain control through a public-private partnership.

The rankings were worked out following assessments for the quality of the hospitals and hospice environments, staffing numbers and skills, affordability of care and quality of care. Just 34 out of 80 countries provided what could be classed as good end-of-life care – and these accounted for just 15% of the adult population.

The report said the quality of end-of-life care was becoming increasingly important with the ageing population, meaning people were increasingly facing “drawn-out” deaths. The UK received top marks for affordability – as would be expected for a service that is provided free at the point of need – but also got a perfect score for quality of care.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34415362

_85921455_palliative

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS,

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/

P-ebd4ffb3-7323-464c-a606-de76297c7a30

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

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

End-of-life care letting people down – Health Ombudsman

Thousands of dying patients are being let down by poor end-of-life care provision, the organisation that makes final decisions about NHS complaints in England has said.

The health ombudsman’s report detailed “tragic” cases where people’s suffering could have been avoided or lessened. In one instance, a patient had suffered 14 painful attempts to have a drip reinserted during his final hours. The government said improving end-of-life care was a priority. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has investigated 265 complaints about end-of-life care in the past four years, upholding just over half of them.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32797768

Have you been affected by the issues raised in this story?

You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. If you would be happy to speak further to a BBC journalist, please include a contact telephone number when emailing your details.

_83102066_c0172027-elderly_hospital_patient-spl

Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , ,

Patient views offer ‘important messages’ for nurses on end of life care By Jo Stephenson, Nursing Times

Nurses have a “huge role” to play in helping patients broach the issue of dying and their final wishes, but it is also vital they have the support to do so, a leading palliative care expert has said.

According to the survey of 2,000 adults published this week by the Dying Matters Coalition, most patients regularly thought about death and believed it should be talked about more often, but many admitted they found it uncomfortable to discuss. Claire Henry, chief executive of the coalition and a nurse by background, told Nursing Times that the survey findings contained important messages for healthcare professionals.

“We need to have these conversations when people are well and that’s everyone’s responsibility, but health professionals should be encouraging them,” she said. “Nurses, healthcare assistants and their social care colleagues have a huge role to play, because they often have really good relationships with patients and their families.” She said it was not about asking blunt questions such as “where do you want to die?”, but initiating discussions at the right time.

Please click on the link below to read more

Patient views offer important messages for nurses on end of life care

logo

Filed under: NHS, ,

End-of-life care for terminally ill ‘needs major overhaul’

The UK’s care system for dying patients with terminal illnesses is lacking and needs a major overhaul, says a damning new report.

According to London School of Economics researchers, more than 100,000 people a year who would benefit from palliative care are not getting it. Patients are being left without sufficient pain relief and respite. NHS England said it was committed to ensuring terminally-ill patients got the support and services they needed.

The report found inequalities in access to good care, with certain groups of patients more likely to miss out. With an ageing population and demand for care increasing, the problem looked set to worsen, it warned.

Those who currently miss out include:

  • the “oldest old” (aged 85 and over)
  • people living alone
  • people living in deprived areas
  • black, Asian and ethnic minority groups

Most palliative care goes to cancer patients, even though the diseases account for less than a third of deaths. Only a fifth of new referrals to specialist end-of-life services are for people with non-cancer diagnoses.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32201594

_74852994_palliative

Filed under: Elderly, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills, By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

Nurses and other clinicians must receive tailored training to address the lack of confidence and skills they have in raising end of life issues with patients, a report by the Commons’ health select committee has said.

The MPs’ inquiry into end of life care found variation in the quality and practice of care given to people approaching the end of life – defined by the committee as those who appear likely to die within the next 12 months – within both hospital and community settings.

End of life care is unlikely to improve unless staff feel able to identify people who are close to dying and start conversations with them about where and how they would like to be cared for, said the MPs in their report. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/news/report-end-of-life-care/

Evidence submitted to the committee by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman stated that half of all its complaints around this type of care featured poor communication – including between clinicians and patients or the family, within clinical teams and between hospitals and community services.

Click on the link to read more

MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills

1299595_romance_love_holding_hands_relationships

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Patient’s shocking death alone in a public toilet made me question end-of-life care – by Andrew Buckley – A doctor working in a NHS hospital

“Cardiac arrest, public toilets” proclaimed the tinny speaker in the intensive care pager. Clutching the grab bag and defibrillator I headed toward the scene, considering what we were likely to find. There’s an unwritten rule of cardiac arrest: if it’s in a public place, it’s always a syncopal episode, a faint.

A number of responders had arrived before me at the cramped and panicked toilet area and started the well-trodden resuscitation path, delivering CPR to an elderly man we’ll call John. John had not fainted. Evidence of rigor mortis, the stiffening that sets in when the muscles stop receiving oxygen, was already manifest, and his face showed the calm, waxen permanence of death we hospital doctors become so familiar with.

The defibrillator, a machine that allows for rapid assessment of the heart, confirmed the complete absence of electrical activity. A search through his personal effects while chest compressions were ongoing revealed an elegantly handwritten note, written without fear or prejudice, with admirable perspicacity and with a strong undertone of defiance.

Please click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2015/jan/28/dignity-death-assisted-suicide-end-life-care?CMP=share_btn_fb

Close-up-of-pen-writing-o-012

 

The letter we found in his pocket while trying to save his life began: “Dear the doctors and nurses of [our hospital]” and went on to neatly summarise a predicament affecting so many in society. Photograph: Alamy

Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, , ,

Norman Lamb has said the NHS must deliver “high quality personalised care” at the end of life.

The minister for care and support was speaking at the launch of Compassion in Dying’s project ‘My Life, My Decision’. Compassion in Dying is a national charity that supports people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their rights and choices. It is leading provider of free Advance Decisions in the UK and conducts and reviews research into rights and choices in end-of-life care. Lamb said the new Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS) which is being rolled out across the country will transform the way people can record their end of life care choices, such as whether they want to be resuscitated. The new system will be used by 70% of Clinical Commissioning Groups by April, the minister said, but he wants the rollout to continue beyond that.

Electronic records of end of life care should stop “awful mistakes” where people have been treated against their wishes by NHS staff. The electronic records will allow a range of NHS professionals across the country to see what someone’s palliative care choices are.

Click on the link to read more

http://centrallobby.politicshome.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/digital-records-to-transform-end-of-life/?

8-ELDERLY-CARE

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Patients leave end-of-life care choice to medics, survey finds

Major decisions about how people are cared for at the end of their lives are being left to doctors – despite fewer than one in 10 patients wanting this to happen. Only 7 per cent of adults in Britain want a doctor to have the final say on their end-of-life care, according to research to be published this week. Despite this, only 4 per cent have either made a record of their preferences in an Advance Decision or appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney. The research, by YouGov for Compassion in Dying, suggests the remaining 91 per cent have by default left these serious decisions to doctors, who may prolong their life against a person’s wishes.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/patients-leave-endoflife-care-choice-to-medics-survey-finds-9877878.html

6-Paris-AFP-Getty

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Blog views to date

  • 90,979 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Last Six Months and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,441 other followers

Helpful Pages, Templates etc

Recent Posts

Pages