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Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Call for high quality community care amid warning terminally ill 'stuck on hospital wards'

Written by Ella Pickover

A patient in their last year of life is admitted to hospital as an emergency case every 20 seconds, a charity has said.

New analysis from the terminal illness charity Marie Curie suggests that one in every four patients admitted to hospital as an emergency case across England, Wales and Scotland are in their final year of life.

The charity said that the data suggests that patients with a terminal diagnosis can expect to spend, on average, up to three weeks "stuck on a hospital ward".

Across England, Wales and Scotland there were 6,741,388 emergency admissions according to the latest annual data available, and 1,675,667 of those was for someone in the last year of life, the charity said.

Marie Curie said many admissions could be avoided with high quality community care.

"Behind each emergency admission of someone approaching the end of life is a family in crisis," said Simon Jones (pictured), director of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie.

"There's a family whose loved one wants to be at home with the people they love, making the most of the time they have left.

"Tragically, this winter, many people will be taken to hospital when they don't want or need to be there. This is how they will be spending their last Christmas.

"Many of the admissions to hospital for these people could be avoided if high-quality care had been available to them in the community.

"Even worse is the fact that these patients will be known to their local health and social care professionals. The system knows them, knows what level of care they need but continues to let them down."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Marie Curie.