• Hospices need to work closer with NHS

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Help the Hospices believes that hospices could play a far greater role in end-of-life care and stop hospitals being the default option for dying people and for an increasing number of frail elderly people.

Later this year, Help the Hospices is looking to set up a series of formal pilots. The pilots could involve providing more care in people’s homes and hospice staff being placed in hospitals.

There are examples of this already happening. For example, Watford General Hospital regularly has hospice staff on wards to help ensure those who want help from local hospices recieve it. Other areas are sending nurses into people’s homes to provide end-of-life care, such as pain relief and emotional support.

Help the Hospices believes extending such schemes could reduce the number of people dying in hospital by 50,000 – a fifth. Currently about half of people die in hospital – despite 80% preferring not to.

But the group says attempts to expand these schemes are often hindered by a lack of resources and funding. Most of the funding relies on charitable donations, only a third comes from the NHS.

Help the Hospices hopes the pilots will help establish a firm evidence base for such schemes to reduce the number of people dying in hospital.

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