May 9, 2012
The announcement that a draft bill will be published to modernise adult care and support in England in today’s Queen’s speech means that full legislation will be delayed until the next parliamentary session. This is disappointing for people who are terminally ill and their families and could cost the NHS millions.
Imelda Redmond CBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, at Marie Curie Cancer Care said:
"Marie Curie Cancer Care is deeply disappointed in this delay to social care reform. Social care for people who are terminally ill plays a vital role in getting them home from hospital. Too many people who are terminally ill end up stuck in hospital beds, unable to get home.
"A new report published yesterday by the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network highlights that ‘86% of all admissions in the last year of life (106,000) are emergency admissions with an average length of stay of 27 days and account for 2.8 million bed days’*. This is costing the NHS millions that it simply cannot afford in the long term. We know that if you get social care right for people who are terminally ill you can start bringing many of those people home from hospital, where they want to be, with their family and loved ones, and start saving money for the NHS.
"This is a situation that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We need to get care for terminally ill people and their families right and we need to ensure that we help them to stay out of hospital, if that is their wish. This is why we will continue to campaign for means-testing on social care to be removed for people in their last year of life.
Linda Walsh whose mother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in June 2011 and died with Pneumonia in hospital in July 2011 said:
"My Mother was very brave. She was admitted to hospital a week prior to her death, and would have dearly loved to go home, but unfortunately for her and us she died in hospital. I can't help feeling let down by the current system and so I feel I let my mother down."
* ‘What do we know now that we didn’t know a year ago? New intelligence on end of life care in England’
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