Objectives There is limited evidence of the impact of advance care planning (ACP) on outcomes. We conducted a retrospective cohort study on deaths of all patients known to a hospice in a 2.5-year period to see if use of ACP affected actual place of death, hospital use and cost of hospital care in the last year.
Results 969 patients were included. 550 (57%) people completed ACP. 414 (75%) achieved their choice of place of death. For those who chose home, 34 (11.3%) died in hospital; a care home 2 (1.7%) died in hospital; a hospice 14 (11.2%) died in hospital and 6 (86%) who chose to die in hospital did so. 112 (26.5%) of people without ACP died in hospital. Mean number of days in hospital in the last year of life was 18.1 in the ACP group and 26.5 in the non-ACP group (p < 0.001). Mean cost of hospital treatment during the last year of life for those who died in hospital was £11,299, those dying outside of hospital £7,730 (p < 0.001). Mean number of emergency admissions for those who died in hospital was 2.2 and who died elsewhere was 1.7 (p < 0.001).
Conclusions ACP can be used routinely in a hospice setting. Those who used ACP spent less time in hospital in their last year. ACP is associated with a reduction in the number of days in hospital in the last year of life with less hospital costs, supporting the assumptions made in the End of Life Care Strategy 2008.
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