Homes urged to improve practice

Care homes have been slow to take up NHS best practice on end of life care, a Department of Health report this week shows.

The evaluation of the DH’s end of life care programme, launched last April, found that, as of December 2005, just 0.75 per cent of homes had started using any of three NHS tools to improve the planning and delivery of care.

This compares with 60 per cent of acute trusts and 28 per cent of primary care practices.

Older people’s “tsar” Professor Ian Philp, who co-authored the report, said the figure reflected the fact that the tools were developed for use in the NHS and had only been adapted for care homes over the past year.

But he said he would be disappointed if a “substantial minority” of homes were not using the tools by the time of the three-year scheme’s second evaluation next year.

He said a care home sub-group had been set up within the programme that would look at setting targets for progress.

  • A Help the Aged survey this week suggests that older people receive worse end of life care than younger people, while staff feel insufficiently trained to meet their needs.
  • NHS End of Life Care programme progress report from
  • More from Community Care

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