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English hospices praised

Friday October 13th, 2017

Hospices in England are providing the best care of any sector in the country, inspectors say today ahead of a global campaign to improve palliative care.

Tomorrow is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and one bleak assessment suggests that palliative care in much of the world is inadequate, leading to patients being denied even the cheapest drugs.

But the Care Quality Commission reported that it had rated some 51 hospices as “outstanding” – 25% of the total. Most hospice services, 142 in total, have been rated as “good.”

English hospices care for about 200,000 people a year and provide bereavement support to another 40,000.

The inspectors say that the best hospices have been successful in running outreach programmes for marginal groups, such as homeless people and the transgendered.

Jonathan Ellis, from Hospice UK, said: “With its holistic, highly caring approach, hospice care can be transformative for dying people and their families, however we know there is no room for complacency and delivering good or outstanding care is an ongoing process.

“At a time when there is growing public concern about the quality of care that people receive in the health and social care system, hospices are demonstrating that it is possible to deliver expert care with compassion. Many hospices are working in partnership with other local services to help make sure that everybody gets the care they deserve and need, wherever they may be cared for.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, from the CQC, said: “It is particularly encouraging to see services committed to continuing improvement reach out to groups they had little contact with in the past to understand the obstacles they have faced and how they can support them better now and in the future.”

* An analysis published in The Lancet today reports that less than 1% of the world’s supply of off-patent morphine goes to poor countries, stating that this is where the need is greatest.

The panel of 61 experts from 25 countries also criticise global policies that restrict access to opioids. They say that for just 145 million dollars all those in need could receive pain relief.

Lancet 13 October 2017 [abstract]

Tags: Pain Relief | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | World Health

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