Increasing numbers of people who wish to spend their final days at home have been supported to do so, according to the latest Welsh Government annual report into the care of terminally ill people.
An annual investment of over £1m in the Hospice-at-Home programme has enabled more people who are terminally ill to be rapidly discharged and die at home if that is their wish. Where this process is in place, 99% of patients who wished to die at home were able to do so.
Care is improving in hospital too, with more specialist care available around the clock. Across Wales, processes and procedures have been put in place supporting clinical nurse specialist teams to work seven days a week.
Consultants in palliative medicine are now available on call to provide 24/7 specialist advice and support for children and young people and adults. Working in regional teams, they can access patient information to make decisions about the care of patients with complex needs.
Healthcare professionals who care for patients for whom terminal illness may be sudden and unexpected can now receive extra communications training around end of life care. This is helping ensure paramedics, critical care and accident and emergency teams are better prepared to talk to patients about their condition, their wishes and to make plans for end of life care.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “There is more work to be done to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions but we have seen real improvements in the last year in services.
“There are excellent examples of Health Board teams working closely with voluntary sector hospices across Wales to ensure that more people are getting the dedicated care that they need at the end of their lives.”
To download the report, visit: End of Life Care - Annual Report 2016.