Responding to today’s report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on planning for the Better Care Fund, which aims to provide better joined up services for older and disabled people in the community, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Hospice UK, commented:
“It is disappointing that early plans for the Better Care Fund have not matched expectations. Hospital has become the default option for too many frail older people, including those approaching the end of life. The considerable contribution of hospices in helping avoid or reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and also providing more integrated care should not be overlooked and we hope this will be factored into planning for the Better Care Fund.
“Many hospices are successfully working at local level in partnership with hospitals to help radically reduce hospital admissions for people approaching the end of life and provide alternative care options that reflect people’s personal preferences, including support in their own homes. Hospice UK has recently launched a programme to expand this work nationally.
“This programme has tremendous potential to deliver more targeted integrated care which is more closely aligned to people’s choices, as well as generating an estimated £80m in savings per year for the NHS.”
Notes to Editor
- In July of this year Hospice UK launched a new programme aimed at reducing the number of people dying in hospital by 50,000 each year – around a fifth of the total annual hospital deaths in the UK.
- The national hospice care charity believes this could lead to higher quality, better targeted care for dying people and could generate savings of up to £80m per year for the NHS.
- Research shows that more than 80 per cent of the public would prefer to die at home or in a hospice.
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
- Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
- For further information follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
- Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews
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