29th Oct, 2016

Hospital bosses say people in district not dying where they want to

Laura Kearns 19th Sep, 2016 Updated: 14 hours ago

MANY people in the district are not dying where they want to.

The poorliest patients being cared for by South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) have the option of choosing where they die, whether at home, in hospital or in a hospice.

Most people say they would rather die in the comfort of their own home – but only around six in ten are spending the last days of their lives in their preferred place.

The trust’s director of nursing Helen Lancaster believes the number of people dying where they choose should be nearer to 80 per cent.

Several factors are to blame for the lack of patients spending their final days where they want, including patients changing their minds and the level of care available at the place where they wish to die.

The trust – which runs Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston hospitals – believe increased funding to the sector would improve the figures and say they are working to better them.

Mrs Lancaster told the Observer: “Providing dignified and compassionate end of life care to our patients is very important at the trust.

“We aim to support and facilitate patient choice when it is clear that they are approaching the end of their life, however there can be extenuating factors which can make it difficult to always meet their wishes, or sometimes these change.

“Patient safety is our number one priority and therefore any changes to a patients’ care plan are made to support them and their family during a distressing time. We recognise how important patient choice is and we are continually looking at ways to make improvements to ensure our patients receive safe, effective care in their preferred environment.”

National figures suggest nearly 60 per cent of people die in hospital. Just 20 per cent die at home and the rest either in a hospice or elderly people’s home.

The government currently says it is working to support more people to die at home through hospice and care at home nurses.