North London Hospice responds to Dying Without Dignity PHSO report

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    NLH Admin
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    North London Hospice

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has published a new report ‘Dying Without Dignity’ which features cases of inadequate end of life care resulting from a range of issues such as poor communication with families of dying people and inadequate out-of-hours services. The organisation, which makes final decisions about NHS complaints, described ‘tragic’ cases where people’s suffering could have been avoided or lessened with better care provision. The PHSO investigated 265 complaints about end of life care in the past four years, upholding just over half of them. It highlights how end of life care could be improved for up to 355,000 people a year in England. North London Hospice’s Chief Executive, Pam McClinton, said the report highlights the urgent need for NHS colleagues and hospices to work together to tackle issues around communications, family support and decisions about what matter to people when time is short and precious. Pam said: “The report highlights that there is still much more that needs to be done to support patients approaching the end of their lives in hospitals. The NHS faces many huge challenges, particularly as patients over the next 20 years will live longer and have more complex end of life needs.  The demand for these services is going to increase dramatically. “The NHS, hospices and other providers of end of life care need to work in a coordinated way to ensure all professional carers receive the support and training necessary to care for people at the end of life, support those close to them, and where appropriate refer them on to a hospice inpatient and community services where they can receive high quality, specialist end of life care in a variety of settings to suit them.’ She added: ‘North London Hospice aims to support the provision of high quality end of life care in all settings. We are developing close working relationships with local hospital palliative care teams. We believe that everybody deserves access to quality and dignified care at the end of life and agree with the findings of the Ombudsmen that end of life care should be seen as a core priority throughout the NHS. ‘    

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