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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Charity urges action to stop unnecessary emergency admissions of dying

Written by Ella Pickover

More must be done to stop dying people having unnecessary emergency admissions to hospital, a charity has said.

Marie Curie said emergency admissions for people in their last year of life can often be avoided if there is appropriate support in the community.

The charity found that in 2016 there were over 1.6 million emergency admissions for people in the last year of their life across Britain.

The figure excludes sudden deaths involving cases such as car crashes.

The charity said the average number of emergency admissions per person in their last year of life is nearly twice as high in England compared with Scotland and Wales.

It said this means that dying people in England are being rushed to hospital much more often.

Without action, in the next two decades these emergency admissions could double and an additional 8,000 extra hospital beds could be needed, the charity estimated.

Simon Jones, director of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, said: "While some emergency hospital admissions for people living with a terminal illness are appropriate and necessary, many are not and can often be avoided entirely if appropriate care in the community is provided.

"Right now dying people and their loved ones are being failed by a system under immense pressure.

"This will only get worse. Being rushed repeatedly to hospital is stressful and upsetting, particularly when someone may have little time left. A&E should be a last resort, not the first port of call for care.

"It makes an already difficult time much worse."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Chris Radburn / PA Wire.