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Poor community care fears for palliative patients


9 July 2013

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Commissioners have been urged to invest in community nursing, following a damning report showing many people fear dying at home as they would prefer because of a lack of expert care.
Community and home healthcare specialists Sue Ryder Care claim that the focus on where people die as opposed to how people die is “skewing” how services are commissioned.
And the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that commissioners should invest in community nursing to avoid “unnecessary distress” for patients.

Commissioners have been urged to invest in community nursing, following a damning report showing many people fear dying at home as they would prefer because of a lack of expert care.
Community and home healthcare specialists Sue Ryder Care claim that the focus on where people die as opposed to how people die is “skewing” how services are commissioned.
And the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that commissioners should invest in community nursing to avoid “unnecessary distress” for patients.
A report released by Sue Ryder revealed only 27% of people feel that they can have a pain-free death at home.
Although 62% of people wish to die at home, only 22% of people are able to.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the results raise “considerable concern”.
Janet Davies, RCN executive director of nursing and service delivery said: “Only by ensuring that there is a fully trained nursing service available in the community around the clock can we ensure that all patients receive the high quality care associated with that in hospices in their own homes.
“We would urge commissioners to invest in this expertise so that future patients do not face unnecessary distress at the end of their lives.”
Sue Ryder’s chief executive, Paul Woodward said: “We are concerned that government and decision-makers including CCGs and GPs are using ‘dying at home’ as a proxy for quality.  This is not good enough.  Dying at home does not always guarantee a ‘good death’.  We need to start talking about ‘how’ people want to die, not just ‘where’.
“Without a clear understanding of what people really want when it comes to care at the end of their lives, we can’t determine whether or not existing support meets their needs.”
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