Findings from first ever national survey of bereaved carers announced

3 July 2012
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Department of Health (DH) have published the findings from its National Survey of Bereaved Carers (VOICES) carried out in 2011.

Speaking in response to the findings, Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition said:

“We welcome the publication of this important report and hope that it acts as a catalyst to further improving end of life care and the support available to people who have been bereaved.

Although it is encouraging that three-quarters of people who have been bereaved reported in this survey that the care received had been outstanding, excellent or good, it’s a real concern that the quality of care people who are dying receive appears to vary so hugely, with hospitals performing especially badly. There is absolutely no excuse for not treating people who are dying with dignity and respect, which is why it is disturbing that hospital staff appear to be failing to do this consistently – with bereaved people reporting just 57% of hospital doctors and 48% of hospital nurses always showed dignity and respect.

We need a new deal for people who are dying, with mandatory end of life training for all staff and much more done to listen and act upon people’s preferences about where they want to be cared for at the end of life, which for most people is in their home and not in hospital. We only have one chance to get end of life care right, which is why the findings from the National Bereavement Survey need to be acted upon immediately.”

Click here for detailed findings from the survey on the ONS website.

Notes to editors

  1. For all media enquiries please contact Joe Levenson, Director of Communications at the National Council for Palliative Care on 020 7697 1520 or 07795 158003.
  2.  The National Council for Palliative Care is the umbrella charity for all those involved in palliative, end of life and hospice care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also leads the Dying Matters Coalition ( which aims to help transform public attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement in England.
  3. Research by ComRes for Dying Matters in 2011 found that 59% of people were scared of dying in hospital.
  4. Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care will be working closely with a new Bereavement Alliance to help improve support for people who have been bereaved.


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