A Glasgow University report has found that approximately one in three patients admitted to hospital in Scotland die within a year. Almost one in 10 patients die during their current hospital admission. Figures for the rest of the UK are thought to be similar. These findings are taken by the report’s authors to suggest that the care people who are nearing the end of their lives should become part of the “core business” of hospitals.
Bradford, E. (2014). Death is ‘core business’ of Scottish hospitals, university study finds. London: BBC News (Glasgow and West Scotland), March 19th 2014.
Two Guides for Carers and Staff in Acute Hospitals (NCPC)
The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) has produced two guides for, or about, carers in the hospital context. They explain the positive roles which carers can play in acute hospitals, and were developed as part of a project funded by NHS Improving Quality. They build broadly on the insights and foundations explained elsewhere in the Triangle of Care.
Caring to the End: Carers Booklet
The first guide, “Caring to the end” is aimed at carers. It offers help and support for carers when a partner, adult relative or friend goes into hospital and may be approaching end of life. The purpose of this guide is to help carers access support, and explains how to become more involved in decision-making and care if they wish. It explains that carers often have a lot to offer on behalf of the patient, including valuable insights for the professional team. Carers – not just patients – should be treated with compassion and respect.
Caring to the end. London: National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), February 10th 2014.
Caring for Carers: Staff Booklet
The second guide, “Caring for Carers”, is for hospital staff. It explains how to involve and support the family and friends of patients who may be approaching the end of their lives. Both patients and their carers need to be treated with compassion. Carers have a lot to offer potentially, and when involved more actively their contributions can help to improve the care provided by acute hospitals to patients. This booklet encourages hospital staff to provide practical assistance when supporting and involving carers compassionately.
Caring for carers: staff booklet. London: National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), February 10th 2014.