Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes the National Survey of Bereaved People (VOICES) 2015.
The survey, which was commissioned by NHS England, asked bereaved people about the quality of care provided for their loved ones during the last three months of their life in a range of different settings.
For quality of care by place of death, nearly eight in 10 respondents surveyed (79 per cent) rated care provided by hospices as outstanding, excellent or good.
Staff in hospices are most likely to be rated as always showing dignity and respect to patients in the last three months of life – 87 per cent for hospice doctors and 86 per cent for hospice nurses. This was significantly higher than any other care setting.
Commenting in response, Dr Ros Taylor, MBE, Clinical Director, at national hospice care charity Hospice UK, said:
“The findings of the latest National Survey of Bereaved People show that hospices are again rated very highly among care providers in providing quality, compassionate care, especially in treating people approaching the end of life with dignity and respect.
“However, a key concern highlighted by survey respondents is the poor quality of pain control at home, which can often involve a range of providers including GPs and district nurses. Pain relief was rated much higher for hospices.
“Dying in pain is people's greatest fear – this is an area where hospices can take a leadership role in sharing expertise locally, supporting better pain relief at home where most people prefer to be cared for at the end of life.
“Also, it is concerning that support for families or carers of people at the end of life has not improved significantly since the last survey, especially on areas such as communication.
“We urge the NHS to harness the expertise of hospices, especially on pain relief, good communication and support for families, so that high quality care is available to people at the end of life across all settings.”
Notes to editor
- 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 about hospice care 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.