Improve liaison on dying in hospital

Communication between hospital and primary care about patients dying in hospital needs to be improved, a national audit has revealed.

The first national audit of the care of patients dying in hospitals in England, conducted by The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool, found that only about a third of deaths in hospital were communicated to primary care.

The researchers measured the care of the dying in hospitals against the standards of the Liverpool Care Pathways for Dying which are recommended by NICE and the DoH.

The national audit examined 2,672 patients from 118 hospitals in England over three months from September to November 2006.

The researchers concluded that 'communication with the primary care team and information sharing both before and after the death of the patients remains a challenge'.

National audit

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