Introduction More people receive care in care homes than in hospitals in the UK. Recent statistics show that 21% of this population die in care homes (NEoLCIN 2013). A hospice-based Care Home Support Team helps their local care homes to implement an end of life care programme, in order to enable care home staff to become more confident and skilled in providing such care. Since 2013, 49 homes have been participating in an audit using the Family Perception of Care (FPC) scale, to assess and develop the quality of their end of life care provision using bereaved family members’ views.
Aims To measure satisfaction with the quality of care given to residents dying in the care home during their last month of life using bereaved carer’s views, and to develop and improve end of life care in participating homes.
Methods This multi-centre audit uses anonymous postal questionnaires based on the FPC Scale (a validated tool) sent to bereaved relatives three months after resident deaths. Responses are analysed using SPSS. Reports are prepared six monthly and action plans then agreed with individual care homes.
Results From 510 eligible deaths during the first year of this audit there were 224 returned questionnaires, a response rate of 44%. Over 80% showed high overall satisfaction with end of life care given, especially around treating the resident with dignity and staff friendliness. Items with less agreement included being given information about care options and what to expect as death approaches, alongside access to GPs and Chaplaincy services.
Conclusion Participating care homes are providing very good end of life care: but addressing some common issues would improve care further. Access to GPs and chaplaincy may be slightly outside the care home control, but better communication and availability of appropriate written information would probably ameliorate the situation.
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