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Hospitals provide significantly worse end of life care


10 July 2015

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End of life care in hospitals is rated as significantly worse than hospices, care homes, or at home, the latest National Survey of Bereaved People revealed.

Seven out of 10 bereaved people (69%) whose relative or friend died in a hospital, rated care as outstanding, excellent or good. This is significantly lower than outstanding, excellent or good ratings of care for those who died in a hospice (83%), care home (82%) or at home (79%).

End of life care in hospitals is rated as significantly worse than hospices, care homes, or at home, the latest National Survey of Bereaved People revealed.

Seven out of 10 bereaved people (69%) whose relative or friend died in a hospital, rated care as outstanding, excellent or good. This is significantly lower than outstanding, excellent or good ratings of care for those who died in a hospice (83%), care home (82%) or at home (79%).

Integration for end of life care also needs improvement, as one out of three (33%) reported that the hospital services did not work well together with GP and other services outside the hospital.

Adrienne Betteley, end of life care programme lead at Macmillan Cancer Support said: “This new data shows we still have completely unacceptable variation in quality of care at the end of life across the country. Good quality care is vital, whether it is in a hospital, hospice or at home. Sadly, we have a long way to go if we are to achieve consistency in all settings.”

Ratings of fair or poor quality of care were significantly higher for those living in the most deprived areas (30%) compared to the least deprived areas (21%).

Betteley said: “Whether someone lives in a deprived or better off area shouldn’t have a bearing on the quality of end of life care they receive, and yet this is what is being reported. It is also of great concern that a third of people are not experiencing good coordination of care between hospital and other services, when we know it plays such a crucial role.”

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