More people dying outside hospital

THE proportion of people dying at home or in care homes as opposed to hospitals rose dramatically in England over the four years up to 2012, according to a new report published by Public Health England.

The report found that the proportion of people dying at home or in care homes rose from 38% in 2008 to 44% in 2012 which equates to some 24,000 more people ending life outside of hospital over the year.

But the report also found large variations in the proportion of deaths in hospital across the country with figures from local authorities ranging from 69 per cent in some areas to 38 per cent in others. The report states that the reasons from this are complex.

What We Know Now from Public Health England’s National End of Life Care Intelligence Network (NEoLCIN) also reported that 72 per cent of relatives stated that GPs gave dignity and respect for the deceased 'all the time' compared with 57 per cent for hospital doctors and 48 per cent for hospital nurses.

Quality of care was rated excellent for 78 per cent of people in hospice care during their last three months compared with 46 per cent in care homes, 45 per cent receiving care from district and community nurses, 35 per cent from GPs, 38 per cent from hospital doctors and 35 per cent from hospital nurses.

Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England said: "Three years ago we knew very little about how and where people died in England. The National End of Life Care Intelligence Network has made a huge difference and the new knowledge is being put rapidly into action to enable people to have a better death."