The Christie has scored well in a survey that looks at ways to improve care for dying patients and their relatives or carers in hospital.

Compiled by the Royal College of Physicians and with additional funding from Marie Curie, the ‘National End of Life Care Audit-Dying in Hospital’ report surveyed 142 hospital trusts and 9,302 patients.

Of those surveyed, 51% of the patients were female and 19.8% had a cancer diagnosis.

The Christie scored particularly well in the organisational audit section of the survey which looked at key organisational elements that underpin the delivery of care, with the Trust achieving six out of eight targets.

Areas of particular achievement include:

  • Access to information relating to death and dying
  • Trust board representation and planning for care of the dying
  • Documented evidence that dying patients were offered an individual plan of care
  • Formal in-house training for all medical staff specifically covering communication skills in the last hours of life for patients.

Another area The Christie performed particularly strongly in was the clinical review where the Trust identified 100% of patients that would imminently die, 100% of those patients relatives had discussed this prognosis with medical staff, and 100% of patients had the opportunity to express any concerns.

Dr Richard Berman, consultant in palliative medicine at The Christie said; “Care of the dying is extremely important to us at The Christie at all levels, and we endeavour to ensure that very high standards of care are being delivered at all times. We have our own in-house supportive care team which is well established and fully integrated within the day to day running of the hospital.

“Importantly, the specialist palliative care team has developed excellent working relationships with other clinical teams in the hospital undertaking joint clinics and ward rounds and promoting early involvement of palliative care support for patients with advanced disease.”

He adds; “With our new award winning ‘Enhanced Supportive Care’ initiative which is being rolled out across England we are leading the way to ensure early integration of supportive and palliative care within cancer care.

“All of this will help to further inform and improve care for patients with advancing disease.”