Hospital as a place of death

Regardless of public preferences, and even although home is thought to be usually the preferred place of death, the reality is that hospital is the most common place for people to die and this is likely to remain the case in the foreseeable future. The End of Life Care Strategy acknowledges this, and calls for a change in the current culture of care throughout the NHS.

53% of the 450,000 people who die in England each year do so in hospital. 21% of deaths occur at home, 18% in care homes, 5% in hospices and 3% elsewhere.

Local preferences and place of death in regions within England 2011, Gomes, Calanzani, Higginson, 2011.

It has proved difficult to transfer the principles of palliative care to patients dying in busy acute hospital wards. A collaboration between the National End of Life Care Programme and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has developed the Transform Programme to improve care of the dying in the acute hospital setting.

The Transform Programme was established in 2011 and has been trialled in a number of NHS hospital trusts throughout England. The programme aims to support local services to adapt a structured framework for improving end of life care, based on implementation of 5 key enablers:

D Scherer
Select the links below to view the five enablers.

Thinking about the experience of patients dying in hospital, what do you consider to be the Pros and Cons:


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