The Royal College of Physicians has just released a 115-page report: National Care of the Dying Audit for Hospitals, England: National Report.
The report investigated 6,580 deaths in 149 hospitals during May last year. The report concludes that wide-scale improvements are needed to ensure that care and support for the dying is consistently good. Key findings include:
- Fewer than 50% of NHS patients who were in their last hours or days were told that they were dying by hospital staff.
- 25% of 858 bereaved family members questioned felt they were not involved in decisions about the care and treatment of their dying relative
- 37% of bereaved family members thought the emotional support given to them by the healthcare team was only fair or poor.
- Training for hospital staff in the care of the dying was mandatory for doctors in only 19% of Trusts and for nurses in 28%.