Dying cancer patients have no home help

When the system fails, which the Kings Fund is warning could happen very soon, will we have to pay for cancer care?

Rosemary Bennett in The Times September 15th reports: Dying cancer patients have no home help

Half of people who have terminal cancer receive no practical help to look after themselves at home, despite the majority qualifying for formal social care on grounds of need.

Macmillan Cancer Support said that of those who admitted they were struggling at home seven out of ten were in hospital for an unplanned stay at least once in their final months of life.

The charity said relatives often had to seek admission to a hospital or a hospice for a dying family member because there was not enough help at home.

Lynda Thomas, of Macmillan, said the research was evidence that end-of-life care was inadequate. “It is simply appalling that people with cancer at the end of life are being made to feel guilty at what is already a very difficult time,” she said.

“Equally, it is just not right for dying people to spend precious time in A&E because support is not there for them at home.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, 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.

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