27 August 2009
In a report out today, the Patients Association recounts 16 cases of completely unacceptable patient care at the end of life, and suggests that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The majority of complaints made to the NHS are regarding end of life care , and this supports our call for increased training for all staff involved in caring for those at the end of their lives, in line with the Government’s End of Life Care Strategy launched last year.
Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:
“Whilst the majority of health care professionals are doing a fantastic job at providing excellent end of life care with the resources available to them, these tragic cases of people not being given the care they need in order to have a good death highlights the need for more training and resources to be provided in this area. Often big changes are not necessary. At Dignity in Dying we hear from people who just want to ensure that small things are made available to them at the end of their lives, such as being surrounded by loved ones or pets, and being able to listen to their favourite music or have photos and home comforts around them. We need to ensure that basic needs are always met at the end of life, and then that people are also supported wherever possible to be able to make personal choices about where they die and what they need to facilitate what they consider to be a good death.”