‘End of life care a priority’

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary
Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary

WIGAN hospital chiefs say they are doing all they can to improve end of life care after criticism from doctors who say care levels are “deeply concerning”.

An audit of care given to more than 6,500 people who had died last year in 149 hospitals carried out by the Royal College of Physicians and Marie Curie found only a fifth of hospitals provided specialist end-of-life care seven days a week - 10 years after this was recommended.

However, bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say they fully participated in the review and say the findings are a priority for the trust,

Jenny Wiseman, palliative care consultant at WWL, said: “We have been involved in this audit since 2004 and it has enabled us to improve the quality of care we provide.

“We are delighted to have been involved in the process and to read the outcome and key recommendations. Since we completed the audit we have continued to monitor and improve our service.”

The trust say that since November 2013, WWL’s specialist palliative care team has delivered a seven day service and that they are working with all other partner organisations in the borough on the issue of end of life care.

A spokesman for WWL added: “We believe end of life care is everyone’s responsibility.

“It is important that all our health care professionals and volunteers, who come into contact with a patient at the end of their life or a bereaved family, have the appropriate training to provide the necessary care and compassion required.

“Therefore, we are currently developing mandatory training for all staff involved in providing care in the last days of life, through to bereavement.

“To be able to fully understand the families experience and continue to improve our services we are, at this time, conducting a bereavement survey.”