The demographics of increasing numbers of people in “Old Age”, allied to improved technology and treatments (usually expensive) mean we have to ration out the cheap and cheerful to be able to afford the technical, and the care.. Life Expectancy & Demographics . Dying is expensive, wherever it happens, but it is possibly cheaper at home when large numbers are involved. NHSreality believes Palliative and Terminal Care should be fully funded. This means cheap cheerful treatments need to be paid for by the person concerned. There is another problem: we would prefer the same doctor, or “continuity of care”, but this is another problem. If it happens, It will be the team and the team ethic that looks after most of us..
Giving people the right to register a wish to die at home with their GP would improve care and save cash, a former health minister said yesterday.
Most people want to die at home surrounded by friends and family rather than in the “hectic and impersonal environment of an acute hospital ward”, said Lord Warner.
The peer was speaking ahead of the introduction of his private members bill which would enshrine patients’ rights to register the wish and compel heath staff to honour it where possible.
Less than half those that die each year do so in their own residence or in care homes with London patients most likely to die in hospital.
“The great majority of us want to die at home or the place we normally live. Perversely, we end up not only dying in the place we least want to be but in the most expensive place,” said Lord Warner yesterday.
Figures compiled by the Marie Curie charity suggest that the cost of palliative care in the community is around a third of that in hospital.
“I am not trying to dragoon people into dying outside hospital to save money. But it would mean fewer people dying in hospital and would reduce pressure on A&E departments and acute hospital beds – a not inconsiderable benefit given current NHS clinical and financial pressures. There is every prospect that the cost-savings involved would pay for exempting terminally-ill patients from local authority social care charges – another way of improving people’s end of life experience.
Lord Warner’s bill, which has yet to clear its first parliamentary hurdle, has little chance of becoming law but the former health minister says he hopes it can produce a cross-party consensus in favour of a right to choose to die at home.
Assisted dying debate must be thorough
GPs back the right to die for terminally ill