Dying patients still being let down

Dr. Charles West, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham is calling for better end of life services, following the annual conference of Age Concern Shropshire, which he attended.

Dr. West said: “There are three things that Shropshire should do to improve care. First every patient known to be near the end of their life should have their details flagged with ShropDoc so that they do not get inappropriate care out of hours. Second, Shropshire County PCT should restore the attachment of district nurses to GP Practices to improve communication and continuity of care. And thirdly Shrewsbury should have a Community hospital, or community hospital beds for patients who do not need the intensive treatment, and do not want the bustle and disturbance of an acute hospital in their last days.”

“I am delighted that Age Concern Shropshire are focussing on End of Life Care at their annual conference today. Staff are working together more and more to improve the care of the dying, and but without the resources they are never going to be able to provide the end of life care that we would all want.

Dr. West’s comments coincide with a new report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) which reveals 39% of patients who died within four days of admission to hospital received less than good care.

“This is a shocking indictment of NHS services for those who are dying.

“It’s clear from this report that in far too many cases services fall way below the acceptable standards for this day and age.”

“Very few patients would choose to spend their last days in an acute hospital, but many have to do so because there are not the necessary facilities elsewhere.

Shrewsbury desperately needs more intermediate care, or community hospital beds where care can be more personal and peaceful.

“Surveys in Shropshire continue to show that most people would prefer to die in their own homes, and many are unable to do so, mainly because of lack of services.”

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