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New 'end of life strategy' drawn up for East Lancashire residents
A NEW End of Life strategy is being drawn up for East Lancashire after it was revealed that more than half of all residents will die in hospital.
Despite national and local initiatives across the region to increase choice, in the last year, 54.5per cent of people died in hospital.
At 22.3per cent, there has been a small increase in the number of patients dying at home, but the number of people dying in a hospice has declined.
Lynn Wissett, deputy chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), said: “What we really need to get better at is choice over place of death.
“Very often people will end up in our services when that’s not really their preferred place.
“There are lots of reasons for this, including fear.
“Quite often families will ring an ambulance and the person will be brought into hospital.
“We need to look at the services across East Lancashire to develop greater End of Life care.”
Mrs Wissett said that already in East Lancashire, health authorites work with national care plans, including Six Steps, and the Gold Standard Framework, which mean that a person can choose in advance where they would like to die, and when they would like to stop medication and food.
She said: “Where possible, we will try to accomodate that.”
Nationally, it is estimated that two-thirds of all deaths are expected.
Patients with long-term conditions account for around half of all GP appointments, 65per cent of all outpatient appointments, and 70per cent of all inpatient bed days.
A report into the East Lancashire End of Life strategy said: “Given that people with long-term conditions are intensive users of health and social care services, there are significant opportunities to plan Pennine Lancashire Integrated Health and Social Care Economy End of Life Strategy 2011-2016.”
The following recommendations have been approved by board members at ELHT, and will be sent to health partners to draw up a new action plan:
- Establishing an End of Life Register that will include the person’s details, as well as information regarding their carers, advance care plans, and anticipatory medications.
- Ensuring that all people, regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnic origin, or condition, have the same access to end-of-life care.
- Raising the profile of end-of- life care by promoting open discussions, advance care planning, and access to support after death for carers and families.
- Education and training for all employers of staff working with people at the end of their life.