SCIE press release

Dying well at home - SCIE Guide

13 May 2013

I had no hesitancy in saying: "Yeah, you can come home." And, as it turned out, it was a wonderful development.

Carer

Dying at home; the case for integrated working. SCIE Guide 48

Many people who are coming to the end of life would choose to die at home. A new Guide, published today, brings together the latest evidence for what needs to be in place to ensure that people and their carers receive quality care, at the end of life. A "good death" at home may not be feasible, or desirable for everyone but, if high quality services and approaches are in place, it could become a reality for many more people. Currently, 59% of all deaths are in hospitals, while 17% happen in care homes and 18% occur in the person' s own home.

The new Guide is launched during Dying Matters Week, which is organised by Dying Matters. The organisation is a national coalition of 28,000 members, which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement.

SCIE's Chief Executive, Andrea Sutcliffe, says:

I know from personal experience, the peace of mind that dying well at home can bring for families, friends and their loved ones. We know from our work that many people would prefer to die at home, but too few do. We also know that it can be achieved when people are supported by a care and support system that works well together, providing rapid access to necessary support and treating people with dignity and respect. By sharing the knowledge of what works I want our guide to help make people's dying wishes a reality

There are nine sections to the guide:

Case study

St. Catherine's Hospice: Carers' Befriending Service, Central Lancashire Cancer Partnership Group. This free service has been developed by hospice social workers; it provides trained volunteers who sit with a cared-for person in the carer's absence. The cared-for person must have a palliative diagnosis, be mainly housebound and socially isolated. The volunteer can sit with the cared-for person in their own home for up to four hours a week.

Acknowledgements

With thanks to the National End of Life Care Programme, which joint funded this project with SCIE. Parts of the National End of Life Care Programme's work came to a close on 31 March 2013, while some elements will continue as part of NHS Improving Quality, a new organisation set up to bring together the wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience of a number of previous NHS improvement organisations. To find out more about continuing work relating to end of life care, visit: www.endoflifecare.nhs.uk/about-us

Notes to editors

The national End of Life Care Strategy for England defines "a good death" as:

In addition to improving the quality of life that dying at home can bring, there are likely to be economic savings if people are kept out of hospital.

Links

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: media@scie.org.uk