Contact us by email or phone.
Lancashire Macmillan Cancer Support calls to 'let patients die at home’
A CANCER charity has called on ministers to help more terminally-ill patients get their final wish to die at home, rather than in hospital.
Macmillan Cancer Support estimates 890 Lancashire patients who died on acute wards last year would have preferred to have received end-of-life care at home.
The figures included 80 patients in Blackburn with Darwen and 80 in Burnley, plus 40 in each of Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale. Macmillan has called on the government to fund free social care for those with terminal cancer, saying this would improve choice for those in their final days.
Chief executive Ciarán Devane said: “As the government makes up its mind about whether to fund and implement free social care at the end of life, thousands of people with terminal cancer are being left to die in hospital beds against their wishes.
“This is putting an unnecessary strain on our A&E departments because people are not getting access to social care for themselves, or for their carers, which would enable them to be cared for in the comfort of their own home.
"It’s simply not good enough to pay lip service to this issue – we need to see action. If the government wants the NHS to deliver world-class care at the end of life in the UK, it needs to start by giving people a real choice about where they die.”
The Department of Health said there was a 12 per cent increase in the number of people able to die at home from 2008 to 2011, but a previous funding review had highlighted a lack of evidence surrounding the cost of palliative care.
It added in a statement: “We are committed to improving and increasing the choice available for patients at the end of their life, so they can choose where to spend their last days.
“As part of our work to improve end-of-life care, the current system for funding palliative care is being reviewed, with the intention to introduce a new system in 2015/16.”
Comments are closed on this article.