More dialysis and chemotherapy to be provided close to home

Home dialysis and community chemotherapy services are to expand as part of a DoH push to provide more care at home.

Home dialysis services in the community will be increased as a result of findings in the Audit Commission report (Photograph: SPL)
Home dialysis services in the community will be increased as a result of findings in the Audit Commission report (Photograph: SPL)

The announcement follows an Audit Commission report showing that older people are happier and cost less to care of if they can be looked after in their own homes.

Alongside wider provision of home dialysis and chemotherapy services in the community, more home-based services will be provided for children and young people with a disability or palliative care needs. More people will also be given the option to die at home if they wish to, the DoH has said.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the ‘time had come' for the NHS to shift more care out of hospitals and into patient's community and homes.

‘For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system,' he said. ‘A great NHS will put the convenience of the patient first, and move services towards them where it is safe to do so.  But care in the home can also achieve better results and save money.'

Howard Catton, head of policy at the RCN, said: ‘For many years, the RCN has been calling for better care at home for children and young people. We are pleased that the government is now looking to provide 24/7 access to advice and support from community children's nurses, who bridge the gap between hospital and community services for these vulnerable groups of children.

‘Continuous access to community children's nurses would mean no child is stuck unnecessarily in hospital when they can be at home. However, the government must make sustained investment to ensure there are enough nurses with the necessary training and support to make this vision a reality.

‘As we approach the general election, all political parties must recognise the need to make sustained investment in healthcare to ensure patients get the quality of care they want and deserve, both in hospitals as well as in the community.'


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