The survey, of 130 practitioners by Marie Curie and the Association of Palliative Medicine, revealed that only 17 per cent of practitioners surveyed felt patients were being referred in a timely manner so that they could fully benefit from specialist palliative care.
We provide care free of charge to patients with a terminal illness in West Kent and northern East Sussex, and also support calls for amendments to the Health and Care Bill, set to be debated in the House of Lords today, to ensure more consistent palliative care across the country.
Paul Madden, Care Director at Hospice in the Weald, said: “This is a shocking state of affairs and in our view a result of a number of factors, including the pandemic leading to patients delaying seeking treatment and the NHS being stretched.
“This further goes to show too many people simply do not understand how hospices can support terminally ill people and their families, and at a much earlier stage than the last weeks or days of life. Here at Hospice in the Weald we provide free care to people in approximately the last year of life and, as terminal illness affects everyone differently, our care is tailored to each patient and their loved ones, to meet their needs and circumstances.
“We are passionate about raising awareness in the local community and helping more medical practitioners to understand our role so they are able to refer patients to us at an earlier stage.
“We want to encourage those facing terminal illness, their families, along with local medical practitioners, to get in touch with us to find out how we can help, so that we can ensure that many more people receive the care and support they need to have a dignified death.”