End of life care improving according to report by Public Health England

July 29, 2015   //   No Comments

There is a growing understanding within the health sector of what is important to people at the end of life, according to a report from Public Health England’s (PHE’s) national end of life care intelligence network (NEoLCIN).

The ‘What We Know Now 2014’ report finds that home continues to be the preferred place of death for people in England, followed by hospices and care homes. The proportion of people dying at home or in care homes has increased from 35% in 2004 to 44% in 2013. The number of people dying in hospitals has dropped by 50,000 since 2004.   The factors most important to people at the end of their life are having pain and other symptoms managed effectively, being surrounded by loved ones and being treated with dignity.

Other findings include:

  1. More people want to be in a hospice the closer they get to death – rising from 4% to 17% to 28% in the final year, months and days before death respectively. This shift is most dramatic for those with experience of hospice care; in last days of life, hospice becomes the preferred place to be for those with experience of hospices, 44% say they want their last days at home, and 55% in a hospice.
  2. 2 in 5 people with dementia die in hospital. Since 2006, the trend has been decreasing for hospital deaths for people living with dementia.
  3. The proportion of GPs reporting they had never initiated a conversation with a patient about their end of life wishes fell from more than a third (35%) in 2012 to a quarter (25%) in 2014.

Read the full report here.