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Older people to be given choice for end of life care

27th March 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The government has announced that it plans to modify the NHS constitution, which will mean that older people will be able to decide where they wish to spend their final days when the time comes. This follows the Stafford hospital scandal in the late 2000s and will give millions of patients more power to choose where they would like to ‘receive their end of life care’.

This will be welcome news to many who are currently living independently with the aid of stairlifts in the home, who may not wish to spend their final days in a hospital in future. For this reason, the Health Secretary, Jeremey Hunt, has expressed that he would like to strengthen the right for patients to be involved in decisions regarding their NHS care.

Giving older people more freedom and choice

This would include providing patients with information about end of life care, to help make informed decisions when the time comes. In certain circumstances, this right will also apply to the family and carers of the patient, providing the chance for care and treatment to be managed by those immediately involved.

Many pensioners have reported that they feel these sorts of decisions are not discussed with them and have already been decided by hospitals or care homes, which has left many unhappy during the final days of their life. This is one of the things that Hunt wants to improve, enabling older people to live long and more fulfilled lives, until the time comes for them to be cared for.

The modification of the constitution also hopes to ensure all health workers are made to tell patients if an incident occurs that may cause significant harm or death and will state that people have a right to access transparent and comparable data from local healthcare providers.

Image Credit: Mark Hillary (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.