More people spending their final days at home
Experts say figures are linked to better end of life care
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