Sites audited include: acute hospitals, community units/hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and primary care settings.
The confidential audit and review has been developed by the Irish Hospice Foundation and presents an opportunity for healthcare staff to review the quality of care provided to a person prior to their death.
About 29,000 people die in Ireland each year and 90% of their last year of life is spent in community settings with care delivered by the GP/ primary care teams.
Dr Kathy McLoughlin, national end of life audit and review coordinator, was reported as saying: “The pilot of the audit and review system has been well received by healthcare staff who value the opportunity to reflect on end of life care and find ways to improve their service. We appreciate that GPs provide most of the care in the community for dying patients… I would encourage family doctors to engage in this pilot process which will help to improve the service they deliver to their most vulnerable patients.”
The system involves a number of phases where randomly selected cases are reviewed by staff. Bereaved relatives/ friends are also asked to give their views regarding the quality of care provided to the person at the end of their life.
The findings of the pilot will inform the development of a national audit and review system for end-of-life care in Ireland.