‘Deeply saddening’ survey reveals concern over levels of care dying people are receiving at home

More than three-quarters of people who had a loved one die at home during the coronavirus pandemic said the Government has failed to prioritise the care that those dying at home need, a survey suggests.

Family and friends of those who have died at home told Marie Curie they felt helpless (34%), anxious (34%) and overwhelmed (27%) when trying to arrange care for their loved one.

The charity surveyed 500 people who knew someone who died at home since March 1 and had knowledge of the health and social care the deceased person received, or did not receive, within the home in the three months before they died.

The survey found that 76% of people said the Government has failed to prioritise the care that people dying at home need, while 72% said their loved one did not get all the care and support they needed before they died.

Managing the dying person’s pain (29%), personal care (33%), and arranging out of hours support in the home (31%) were the areas people struggled with most, the poll found.

Matthew Reed (pictured), chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “The results of this survey are deeply saddening.

“We have seen the devastation this year in care homes, and in hospitals, and now I am fearful that a silent crisis is raging behind closed doors in people’s homes.

“I have written to the Health Secretary urging him to investigate the quality of care dying people are receiving in their homes.

“Excess deaths in private homes still remain very high. The funding care providers in the community receive has in no way reflected the increased numbers of people dying.

“This survey adds to our concern that there is insufficient information about what is happening to people dying at home, and that many may not be receiving the pain relief, symptom control and hands on care that they so desperately need and deserve in their final days.

“We only get one chance to get end of life care right for people.”

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