Every year, around half a million people die in England, and two thirds of them are people over 75. Most of these deaths come after a period of long term illness such as heart disease, cancer or dementia.
Although everybody has their own idea of what a ‘good death’ is, for most people it would involve being without pain, in a familiar place with close family or friends and being treated with respect. 75% of people say they would prefer to die at home. Recently, the number of people dying at home in has increased (42% in 2011), but over half of deaths still occur in hospitals.
Plans to ensure high quality, compassionate care for everyone at the end of life have been announced by Health Minister Ben Gummer.
The government has made 6 commitments to the public to end variation in end of life care across the health system by 2020. These are:
- Honest discussions between care professionals and dying people
- Dying people making informed choices about their care
- Personalised care plans for all
- The discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals
- The involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care
- A main contact so dying people know who to contact at any time of day
The commitments are in response to an independent review of end of life care.
NHS and care professionals will be expected to reflect these commitments in their work. New measures will be developed to ensure local health and care leaders are meeting the standards expected of them.
Through Life Story work and Collage, our technology is able to offer the opportunity for the individual to impart not only their aspirations, but also it is able to consider that of their families too in recording those wishes, which may embrace the past present and future.