More people are being cared for, and dying, in their preferred place of care and the number of people dying in hospital decreased by 5% between 2005 and 2010. This is all positive news.
The effectiveness of the coordination of care leading up to death is also usefully explored in the report. End-of-life care registers (such as London’s Coordinate My Care) are recommended as the key mechanism in the End-of-Life Care Strategy for coordinating the treatment wishes of patients at, or approaching, the end of life so they can be acted upon emergency and transportation situations. Once a patient has been identified as being end-of-life at an early stage they can be placed on a coordinating system and they are likely to get significantly better care. Whilst such systems are proving successful, locating these patients can be an issue (this is partly being addressed by a scheme which aims to encourage doctors to spot these types of patients called Find Your 1%). This work is of special importance for non-cancer patients whose trajectories of care are not as easy to map out and are currently less likely to have a record of their preferences than those with other conditions – so early identification is crucial. Not all regions have a register, so patients care may be suffering.
This blog only touches on the information reported by the National End of Life Intelligence Network. The factors that influence differences in where people die (age, socioeconomic factors and cause of death) are examined in detail and should provide motivation to the providers of care to end-of-life patients.