End of life care to be a priority, say doctors

Louth to host it's first Triathlon event.
Louth to host it's first Triathlon event.

Leading doctors made improving community care for people who are dying an ‘important priority’.

Dr Amit Bhargava, of the Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said it would improve end-of-life care after NHS figures showed too many Crawley people were dying in hospitals.

The Crawley Governing Body held a meeting in public in the Charis Centre, West Green, near Crawley Hospital, on Thursday (June 19).

The governors discussed an NHS report that was published on June 5.

The Integrated Performance & Quality report assessed the CCG’s performance over recent months.

Dr Bhargava said: “The report gave us the numbers where we need to focus - end of life.

“At the moment when the patient is discharged [from hospital] they might not know - it has not been communicated - that there’s no more treatment.

“It’s to help them through the next therapy with the community.”

He said hospitals would give end-of-life and palliative diagnoses to patients entering end-of-life care by the end of 2014.

Dr Bhargava, who is a GP at Southgate Medical Centre, said: “We are working very closely with hospitals, community groups, nursing - all kinds of people - to ensure that the person who is dying, and the family and the carers are not discharged from hospital not knowing what is happening; so the GP knows what has been agreed in hospital and what supports are required in the community.

“As we speak there’s a working group that has been set up - two clinical directors are working to develop this by hopefully October.”

Dr Laura Hill, one of the directors, said: “There are still too many people spending their last hours in hospital when actually we know from asking the general population that their preferred place of death is likely not to be a hospital setting.”

She said the project in Crawley would cater for the town’s large ethnic population, cohort of older patients and young carers.