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End-of-life care 'deeply concerning'

The care given to people dying in hospital is "deeply concerning", according to doctors who have carried out a review of standards in England.

The audit found only a fifth of hospitals provided specialist end-of-life care seven days a week - 10 years after this was recommended.

Communication was also particularly poor, the joint Royal College of Physicians and Marie Curie review said.

More than 500,000 people die each year in England - half of them in hospital.

The review looked at the care given to more than 6,500 people who had died last year in 149 hospitals.

Some but not all of them had been on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.

This covers care given during the final stages of life and can involve withdrawal of medication, food and fluids, but is being phased out following criticism about how it was being used.

More than 800 bereaved relatives were also asked for their views. Three-quarters said they felt supported during their loved-one's final two days of life.

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Posted by: on May 15th, 2014 @ 09:55 AM

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