Poor access to pain control at home is leaving many terminally ill patients in a state of constant pain says leading health charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care.
In a report published by the charity – which was based on 26 detailed telephone interviews – it was revealed there are ‘terrifying’ delays for prescriptions and hundreds of carers feeling ‘abandoned’ and ‘scared’.
In addition, a recent UK-wide online survey of GP’s has revealed that many are worried about support for terminally ill patients at home.
These findings, according to Marie Curie Cancer Care, serve to highlight a growing “sense of fog and confusion” about the services available for terminally ill patients and their carers, and a need for better access to pain relief.
Ultimately, the charity is calling for better support and round-the-clock care, particularly at the weekends and overnight. They hope this will better improve the chances of terminally ill patients having a “good death” – one that is calm, peaceful and pain-free, in pleasant and private surroundings.
NHS England has welcomed the Marie Curie report and says it is developing a programme of action to improve care:
“Excellent care for everyone in the last days and hours of life should be a common understanding between professionals, dying people and their families and between professionals themselves, about what such care should look like.
“Building on the culture change outlined in Sir Robert Francis’s report – namely to ensure high-quality, compassionate care, focused on the needs of patients – a system-wide programme of action is being developed to improve overall standards of care for dying people.”