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National End of Life Care Audit

The National End of Life Care Audit is released today (31st March 2016) by the NHS England and the Royal College of Physicians.

Our clinical site at the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has performed well across all measures in the audit.

The Trust is complaint with all 8 Organisational Audit indicators, including access to a 7-day specialist palliative care service, which is available in only 37% of hospitals nationally, and providing in-house training in communications skills for all medical, nursing and allied health professional staff.

In the five Clinical Audit indicators, the Trust performed close to or well above the average for hospitals nationally, including documentary evidence that it was recognised when patients may be in the last hours or days of their lives, that conversations were taking place with patients where possible and with those important to the patient, and that, in 91% of cases (84% nationally), their concerns were being listen to.

There was documented evidence within the last episode of care that it was recognised that the patient would probably die in the coming hours or days in 77% of patient records (83% nationally), which increased to 100% once sudden or unexpected deaths were taken in to account, for example when a patient dies within 24 hours of admission (compared with 93% nationally).

Deborah Murphy, Assistant Chief Nurse for Medicine and End of Life Care Lead, at the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and Associate Director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool, said: "Caring for patients at the end of their lives is a very high priority in our hospitals so it is good to see that the high quality of care we strive for is reflected in the findings of this national audit.

"We only have one chance to get this care right for each patient and, importantly, for those they leave behind. Because of this, we also conduct locally, in addition to this national audit of patient records and organisational indicators, a local survey of the experiences of the bereaved relatives of patients who have died in our hospitals. This has found that relatives feel their loved ones receive a high standard of end of life care at our hospitals, whilst also identifying areas where we can continue to further improve our services.

"There is clearly still too much variation in the quality of care for dying patients between hospitals in England and we remain determined in our Trust to work with patients, families, clinicians, researchers and our unique volunteers service to maintain and continually improve on the high quality of care that we provide."

The national report can be viewed by clicking here.