Dead people don’t vote… End-of-life care ‘deeply concerning’

Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor in the Telegraph, reports 14th May 2014: Most terminally ill patients not told they are dying, says damning report

Sick and elderly patients are not being told they are dying in more than half of cases, in ‘deeply disturbing’ findings

Fewer than half of patients known by medical staff to be in their final days were told they were dying, a highly critical report has found.

Care of dying patients ‘is not an important issue’ for hospitals and treatment has failed to improve in many areas despite sustained pressure from campaigners, it was warned.

Welsh MP Ann Clwyd highlighted the problem when she said her husband, Owen Roberts, 77, died ‘like a battery chicken’ from an ‘almost callous lack of care’. An independent review later dismissed many of her claims……

Palliative and Terminal Care should be fully funded

Anne Clwyd MP, “Husband Treated Like Battery Hen”

An advanced directive or living will – It’s important to specify, especially lying flat. Good news if you take action.

Death discussions ‘taboo’ for many in UK, survey finds

Cancer treatment is a “national shame”. Cancer isn’t fixed yet, says Macmillan

Jenny Hope in The Mail 15th May reports: How dying NHS patients are forgotten at weekends

Only a fifth of hospitals have specialist palliative care workers on duty on Saturdays and Sundays

  • Government ignored on demands for seven-day specialist care
  • NHS staff told fewer than half of patients that the end was near
  • A fifth of hospitals failing to give special training to staff caring for dying

Chris Smyth in The Times 15th May reports: Patients are dying badly, say doctors

….Doctors and nurses are frightened to tell patients they are dying and a quarter of bereaved relatives feel shut out of their loved ones’ care, according to an authoritative report (Royal College of Physicians)  which concluded that the NHS does not take end-of-life care seriously enough. …

The Independent reports 15th May: The NHS is a source of national pride, but it has
lessons to learn in how to prepare people for death

The central problem is in a lack of training of hospital staff

and Nick Triggle for the BBC says: End-of-life care ‘deeply concerning’

NHSreality has already said that it’s a great pity dead people don’t vote…. (Covert rationing of Cancer Care for the Elderly. Dead people don’t vote, and staff are fearful. Rationing by age… ) The implication of this type of deserts based and covert rationing, is that these patients don’t deserve good care because they won’t be here to influence the next election..


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Professionals, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

3 thoughts on “Dead people don’t vote… End-of-life care ‘deeply concerning’

  1. Pingback: Elderly are neglected by untrained, underpaid carers, peer warns | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  2. Pingback: The NHS and ‘cradle to the grave’ | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  3. Pingback: GPs back the right to die for terminally ill | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s