Learning from patient deaths must include end of life care

Date: 
13 December 2016
The National Council for Palliative Care has responded to the report from the Care Quality Commission looking at missed learning opportunities after patient deaths.

The report "raised significant concerns about the quality of investigations led by NHS trusts into patient deaths and the failure to prioritise learning from these deaths so that action can be taken to improve care for future patients and their families."

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the NCPC, said “This report makes it clear that we cannot improve people’s care in the future if we do not learn from current deaths. It’s essential that this investigation includes the end of life care the person received. Even though end of life care does not prolong life or hasten death, the way someone dies has a big impact on the family and carers left behind. This must include not only the care received, but also any issues that were raised or requested but not addressed. We need to make sure people are safe right until the end of their lives; this means ensuring they get the care they need at the right time in the right place, and the voices of relatives and carers must be listened to in this process. This isn’t about blame; it is about improving the care and treatment we receive at all stages of our lives, including the time when death is inevitable. Everyone has a right to good quality end of life care, and we applaud the CQC’s commitment to improving this.”

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