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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Call to support terminally ill


26 November, 2008  

Hospitals should offer terminally ill patients more support in helping them stay in their homes or get home quicker after a hospital stay, a report suggests.

According to the National Audit Office’s (NAO’s) End of Life Care report, lack of coordination between health and social services means many people are not able to die at home.

As many as 74% of people would like to spend their final moments at home but the report said 58% of deaths take place in hospital.

Karen Taylor, NAO director of health studies, said in general services were not meeting people’s needs.

The report showed around £104 million could be saved if emergency admissions were cut by 10% and hospital stays were reduced by three days where people had no medical need to remain there.

Additional training for care home staff could help to reduce emergency admissions, it said.

The report also recommended that doctors, nurses and social care staff are trained in identifying people who are nearing the end of their life and how best to support them.

Tim Burr, head of the NAO, said the planning and delivery of services needed to improve, particularly support in the community and using resources more effectively.

Copyright Press Association 2008

National Audit Office