There was a 25% increase in liver disease deaths in England between 2001 and 2009, in contrast to other major causes of deaths, which have been declining. It is now the fifth most common cause of death in the UK.
As reported by the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network last year, liver disease disproportionately kills people at a much younger age – 90% of people who die from liver disease are under 70 years old and more than 1 in 10 of deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease.
The complex needs of many patients who die from liver disease mean that they are more likely to die in hospital; in 2009 more than two-thirds died in hospital, compared to 55% of all deaths from any cause.
‘Caring for people with liver disease: a competence framework’ is aimed at all nursing staff working in all clinical settings and describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required to deliver patient-centred liver care.
Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: “By empowering nurses with this well thought out framework, patients will inevitably benefit from better care, treatment and support.”