More peo­ple spend­ing their fi­nal days at home

Ex­perts say fig­ures are linked to bet­ter end of life care

Paisley Daily Express - - It’s Time To Play Your Part, Young People Urged - Chris Tay­lor

09.11.2018 More peo­ple are pass­ing away at home rather than in a hospi­tal bed.

NHS fig­ures re­veal that just over 2,000 peo­ple died of nat­u­ral causes in Ren­frew­shire last year.

They spent an aver­age 20 days out of the last six months of their lives on a ward.

Ex­perts say pal­lia­tive care im­prove­ments and a drive to­wards in­de­pen­dent liv­ing are al­low­ing res­i­dents to be treated where they want.

The End Of Life Care cam­paign was launched by char­i­ties in­clud­ing Hospice UK, Macmil­lan Cancer Sup­port, Sue Ry­der and Marie Curie.

A spokesman said: “Im­prov­ing end of life care must be a promi­nent part of the NHS’ longterm plan.

“It will help the health and care sys­tem de­liver its broader sys­tem pri­or­i­ties, in­crease ef­fi­ciency in the use of fi­nite re­sources and de­liver bet­ter out­comes for peo­ple and fam­i­lies.

“Too many peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence poor care as they ap­proach the end of their life.

“Many dy­ing peo­ple spend their last months and weeks in hospi­tal – even though most of them do not want or need to be there.

“Not only is this dis­tress­ing for pa­tients and their car­ers, but it also drives up costs for the NHS.

“Good end of life care is a high value in­ter­ven­tion as it im­proves out­comes for pa­tients and car­ers at the same or lower over­all cost to the health ser­vice.”

In Ren­frew­shire, 2,000 peo­ple died last year – with 88.6 per cent of the last six months of life spent at home.

An aver­age of 162 days were spent in the com­mu­nity. Only 20 were spent on a ward. NHS costs are pro­jected to dou­ble to £4bil­lion in the next 20 years.

And high- qual­ity pal­lia­tive care could re­sult in 60,000 fewer deaths in hospi­tal, sav­ing over £180 mil­lion each year.

Brian Sloan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Age Scot­land, says more help needs to be given to keep older peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

He said: “We want older peo­ple to live in­de­pen­dently in their own home for as long as pos­si­ble but they may need some ex­tra sup­port, ad­vice or friend­ship.

“We know that more older peo­ple are liv­ing alone in Scot­land and may not have reg­u­lar visi­tors.

“Some feel lonely from time to time and worry that no one will no­tice if they take ill or are not up and about in the morn­ing.”

There were 56,736 deaths in Scot­land, ex­clud­ing those where an ex­ter­nal cause, such as un­in­ten­tional in­jury, was recorded last year.

For in­di­vid­u­als who died in 2017/ 18, 87.9 per cent of their last six months of life was spent ei­ther at home or in a com­mu­nity set­ting.

The re­main­ing 12.1 per cent spent their fi­nal days in hospi­tal.

NHS chiefs say work is un­der­way to keep more peo­ple at home and out of hos­pi­tals.

A spokesman said: “End of life care is an im­por­tant, in­te­gral as­pect of the health care pro­vided to those liv­ing with and dy­ing from any ad­vanced or pro­gres­sive and life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion.

“It is now pos­si­ble to pre­dict the progress of many of th­ese con­di­tions, en­abling a planned ap­proach to end of life care.

“Th­ese must re­flect, as far as pos­si­ble, the needs and wishes of pa­tients, car­ers and their fam­i­lies.”

Fig­ures More peo­ple are pass­ing aware at home in­stead of hospi­tal

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