The majority of people (64%) want to die at home, however less than a third (30%) are able to do so. Each year in England, an estimated 48,000 people experience poor care in the final three months of their lives. And more than 12,500 cancer patients (10% of those who die in England each year) spend the last two days of their lives without adequate pain relief. This must be urgently addressed.
Consensus has grown around the urgent need for Government action to address the lack of choice at end of life. It is also widely accepted that if more people are treated in a community setting then savings can be made in the acute sector.
In July 2016 the Government published their response to the Independent Review of Choice in End of Life Care [PDF], which sets out a new ‘National Commitment’ based on everyone at the end of life receiving high quality care tailored to their needs and wishes.
However, over a year since this commitment was made there is still a long way to go to translate the Government’s recommendations into tangibly better care for patients.
Our new report, ‘Missed Opportunities’, outlines the vital role Advance Care Planning (ACP) can play in ensuring a dying person’s wishes are met. It explores the barriers to early advance care planning discussions among people approaching the end of life and health and social care professionals.
The individual stories that have been shared in this report show how giving someone genuine choice about how and where they are cared for in their final days can allow them to achieve a ‘good’ death. However, they also reveal how a failure to plan for an individual’s final weeks and days can have numerous and costly consequences.
The report sets out recommendations for governments across the UK to fulfill their existing commitments on ACP and aims to support health and social care professionals to have early ACP conversations.
For more information:
- Read our latest report 'Missed Opportunities'
- Read our report 'The Final Injustice' which examines variation in delivery of end of life care in England.
- Get involved with the campaign
- Get in touch with Lucy Simpson, Public Affairs Officer