Today Marie Curie publishes new analysis showing that of all the emergency hospital admissions in Britain approximately one in four is for someone in their last year of life. This equates to one patient rushed to hospital as an emergency every 20 seconds.
The data from the NHS in England, Wales and Scotland, paints a grim picture for patients with a terminal diagnosis who can expect to spend, on average, up to three weeks of precious life stuck on a hospital ward.
Commenting in response, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy and Change at national hospice care charity Hospice UK, said:
“Emergency admission to hospital at the end of life is often a symptom of the failure to provide appropriate community- based services to people and their families.
“Few people would chose to be in a hospital bed at the end of their life, but it is a sad reality for almost half of people who die each year.
“It is vital that the NHS invests locally in community based services, like hospice care, that can be a lifeline for families, and can help prevent avoidable and distressing emergency admissions to hospital”.
Notes to editors
- Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care.
- For further information about hospice care visit our website www.hospiceuk.org or follow us on Twitter @hospiceuk
- 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
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