Palliative care


28 March 2014

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This report on palliative care calls on NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre to urgently improve the consistency and accuracy of data recording to improve monitoring of patient care.

The report highlights how tighter and clearer rules on coding and more stringent auditing of data quality are urgently needed to ensure poor quality care can be spotted and targeted more effectively.

It examines the proportion of patient deaths recorded as palliative in NHS hospitals, which has increased five fold from 3.3 per cent in 2006/07 to 16.4 per cent in 2012/13.

Patients admitted to hospital specifically for specialist palliative care cannot currently be distinguished from those who were admitted for treatment and whose subsequent deterioration in health led to them receiving palliative care.