There is still real variation in the quality of care provided – over a third of hospitals rated as inadequate or requiring improvement for end of life care – although more encouragingly nearly all are rated well for ‘caring’.
The report noted that end of life care is a peripheral activity solely managed by specialist teams but highlights that it needs to be a hospital-wide concern and that leadership must be provided at board level to achieve high standards.
Commenting in response, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Hospice UK, said:
“While it is good to see some progress, it is disappointing that over a third of hospitals are still rated as inadequate or requiring improvement in end of life care.
“It is clear that end of life care needs to be a higher priority across the care system, including hospitals
“Hospices have a great deal to offer hospitals to help improve the care that people receive at the end of life. Whether through better integration between acute and community services or in the education and training provided by hospice, by working more closely together hospices and hospitals can deliver a step-change in the care that people receive.”
This is the first time such a focused national analysis has been possible, following the introduction of CQC’s new comprehensive inspection programme in 2013.
More information on the hospital inspection findings is available on the CQC website.