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Hospital deaths dashboard: care indicators
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  • Published on:
    Response from the National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL)
    • Suzanne M Kite, Consultant in Palliative Medicine/Clinical Lead NACEL Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust/NHS Benchmarking
    • Other Contributors:
      • Elizabeth AJ Rees, Lead Nurse Palliative & End of Life Care/NHS Benchmarking

    We are responding to the recent article in the June 2021 edition of the online BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Hospital deaths dashboard: care indicators article as the NACEL Clinical Leads.

    Primarily, we were pleased to see that the NACEL metrics and audit themes had been used as the starting point for the dashboard. The scope of NACEL is to audit against the NICE Quality Standards and Guidelines, and the Five Priorities for Care, representing best practice in adults dying in hospital.

    We would concur with the theme of the article that continuous quality improvement, and thematic feedback to clinical teams is a good thing, which must be promoted. As you are aware, NACEL is not commissioned to provide QI support directly to acute hospitals but does provide hospitals with the evidence and the tools for QI activity.

    We would agree that the “less onerous” approach is usually good, and whilst NACEL initially set off in the first cycle with many data items to collect, we listened to feedback in subsequent years and pulled back significantly on the metrics requested. We can assure you that the NACEL Steering and Advisory Groups both aspire towards less data burden, and the ask of acute providers is reviewed after each audit cycle. In addition, the article also mentions that NACEL is ‘too onerous’ and provides ‘little specific data that can be used for continuous quality improvement’. We would wish to counteract this in that the metrics are chosen spe...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    NHS Benchmarking pays the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for Suzanne Kite and Elizabeth Rees' NACEL clinical leadership time.