Bereaved people in England rate the care provided by hospitals at the end of their relative’s life lower than that provided by hospices, care homes, and services in the community, show the results of a survey published by the Office for National Statistics.1
Overall, 75% of bereaved people rated the quality of care of their relative or friend in the last three months of life as outstanding, excellent, or good and 10% as poor, found the annual national survey of bereaved people, VOICES (Views of Informal Carers—Evaluation of Services).
However, quality of care was rated lower when the patient died in hospital than when they died in other settings: 69% of bereaved people whose relative or friend died in a hospital rated the care as outstanding, excellent, or good, compared with 83% where the death occurred in a hospice, 82% in a care home, and 79% at home.
Ratings of fair or poor quality of care were higher, across all care settings, among people living in the most deprived areas (30%) than among those in the least deprived (21%).
Furthermore, a third (33%) of relatives and friends of patients admitted to hospital at some stage during the last three months of their life reported that the hospital services did not work well with GP and other services outside the hospital. Hospital staff were also less likely to be rated as “always showing dignity and respect”: the proportions were 59% for hospital doctors and 53% for hospital nurses but 88% and 85%, respectively, for doctors and nurses in hospices.