Social care and hospital use at the end of life – Nuffield Trust – 8 December 2010

Posted on January 14, 2011. Filed under: Palliative Care | Tags: |

Social care and hospital use at the end of life – Nuffield Trust – 8 December 2010
Author: Martin Bardsley, Theo Georghiou, Jennifer Dixon

“Care of the dying can be seen as an indicator of the quality of care provided for all sick and vulnerable people. About half a million people in the UK die each year, and the quality of care they receive also affects a much larger number of relatives, carers and friends. Although the costs of this care are also high, there is a shortage of information about the care people receive at the end of life and major gaps in our understanding of what services are appropriate.

This briefing summarises a Nuffield Trust report to investigate the use and estimated costs of hospital and social care services for large groups of individuals at the end of their lives, in three PCT/local authority areas. We believe that this is the first time that such an estimate has been derived for large populations. This type of analysis is the first step to achieving better quality of care for the available resources.

The techniques used in this analysis mark a significant step forward in terms of providing a better understanding of health and social care services used by people at the end of life. However, the analysis is partial. The Nuffield Trust has therefore been commissioned by the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network to conduct a more detailed follow-up study. This will involve a wider range of local authorities, and an extended number of datasets. It will report in 2011.

This briefing forms part of the Trust’s work on the commissioning of health care. It will be of interest to policy-makers, commissioners and managers within health and social care, as well as academics with an interest in this area.”

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